Thursday, March 28, 2013

Teamsters strike law-breaking Republic Waste in OH, IN, IL

Picketing outside of Youngstown landfill. Stay strong, brothers.

Striking sanitation Teamsters employed by Republic Services are picketing outside of the Carbon Limestone landfill near Youngstown right now. Teamster sanitation drivers are honoring the picket line and Teamsters are refusing to work at Republic facilities in Evansville, Ind., and Urbana, Ill.

Picketing Teamsters carried signs saying "I am a man on strike," an allusion to the Memphis sanitation workers strike in 1968. Martin Luther King, Jr., was assassinated while supporting that strike.

Ken Hall, Teamsters general secretary-treasurer, explained why Republic Teamsters walked off the job:
For more than a year now, Republic has been trying to squeeze every last cent out of their workers by cheating them out of pay, ignoring health and safety protections, raising their health care costs, and cutting their retirement benefits.
Trash tycoon Bill Gates owns about 26 percent of Republic. He's tried to mitigate his image as a greedy billionaire by giving money to improve sanitation overseas. His failure to remedy Republic's abuses of workers and the environment in the U.S. bring new meaning to the words "hypocritical" and "unpatriotic."

According to the press statement just issued,
Sanitation workers employed by Republic Services/Allied Waste [NYSE: RSG] went on strike in Ohio last night to protest the company’s violations of federal labor law. Workers at Republic’s Carbon Limestone landfill outside of Youngstown put up a picket line instead of reporting to their shifts late yesterday.  
Teamster solidarity in Urbana, Ill. 
The striking workers are members of Teamster Local Union 377. They are exercising their rights under federal law to strike in protest of Republic illegally changing working conditions without bargaining and the company’s continued refusal to provide pertinent information related to bargaining. 
Sanitation workers at other Republic locations have subsequently refused to work in a show of support of their striking colleagues. Sanitation drivers in Youngstown are honoring the picket lines of their striking co-workers at the landfill. In addition, workers at Republic/Allied Waste in Evansville, Ind. and Urbana, Ill. refused to work today in support of the striking employees at Republic’s landfill. 
The sanitation workers who are refusing to work in Evansville and Urbana are members of Teamster Local Unions 215 and 26, respectively. These workers have the right under federal labor law to refuse to cross picket lines or to refuse to work in support of striking workers at other Republic/Allied Waste locations.