|Local 665 and Local 215 members walking the picket line in Milpitas today.|
Teamster solidarity is a beautiful thing.
Eighty Indiana Teamsters, members of Local 215, were locked out of their jobs on May 8 by Republic Services in Evansville. On Friday, a few of the Indiana Teamsters traveled to California to extend their picket line. They set up a line at a transfer station in Richmond. Teamsters from Local 315 refused to cross it.
Our Indiana brothers then traveled 50 miles south to Milpitas, where very early this morning they extended the line to a hauling yard and recycling center.
Honoring the picket line were Local 350 members who work at Republic and Local 350 members who work at five other companies that deliver to that facility. Local 70 members who work at the landfill on site wouldn't cross the line either. IBEW and Ironworkers who are working on construction at that site refused to cross it, too.
And Teamsters from Local 665 are walking the picket line as well (they don't have a contract with Republic).
Also this morning, Republic Services Teamsters all over the country put on stickers that say, "“Republic Services: Don’t Trash Our Contracts / Teamsters United.” Above is a photo of Mobile, Ala., Teamsters wearing the stickers.
You may remember that 24 Teamsters from Local 991 in Mobile went on strike against Republic Services on March 22. They were followed by sympathy walkouts in Columbus, Ohio, and Buffalo, N.Y. Workers in the Seattle area were met with picket lines March 29. On April 2, the Alabama Teamsters ratified a contract and went back to work, knowing that 400 Teamsters had their back.
We recall the words of Alabama striker Robert Agee:
It means a whole lot to know that other guys stand behind us.