Thursday, March 29, 2012

Republic Waste strike spreads to WA

Steve Burroughs holding the line in Bellevue.
Steve Burroughs takes the Republic Services strike from Mobile, Ala., to Washington state and holds the line in Bellevue. In another inspiring act of solidarity, members of Teamsters Joint Council 28 and community supporters also put up sympathy pickets at Seattle-area Republic Services facilities. Refusing to cross the lines in Kent, Bellevue and Lynnwood were 250 members of Teamsters Locals 117 and 174, 38 and 763.

Burroughs, who has worked at Republic for 16 years, didn't want to strike. But, he said,
These top 1 percent corporations have done nothing but harass and intimidate us. As a worker, I’m part of the 99 percent in America and I can’t stand by any more while our jobs are destroyed.
According to Local 991's press release,
On Thursday night, March 22, all 24 Republic Services workers in Mobile went on strike, including two workers who are not members of Teamsters Local 991. They are striking over Republic’s labor laws violations. In February, Republic negotiators agreed to a contract, then backed out when they decided they wanted to pay less for workers’ families health care coverage.
It sure helps when your brothers and sisters have your back. Hours after Mobile workers went on strike, members of Local 284 in Columbus and Local 449 in Buffalo refused to cross sympathy picket lines at Republic Services facilities. Props to the 400 Teamsters who have honored picket lines so far.

There's even more to come. Sympathy strikes are spreading to Republic facilities across the country, as the Teamsters represent 9,000 employees with nearly 150 contracts in the U.S., Canada and Puerto Rico.

In 2011, Republic Services/Allied Waste earned $8.2 billion in revenues and declared profit of $589 million, up 15 percent per share from 2010. And yet it claims it can't afford to provide quality, reasonably priced health care for its employees.
Stand strong, brothers and sisters!