The U.S. Department of Justice is requiring Republic Services Inc. and Allied Waste Industries Inc. to sell trash-hauling routes and landfills in 15 metropolitan areas as a condition of their merger, but the Teamsters Union remains concerned.
The Justice Department announced last week that it had reached a settlement agreement with the companies requiring them to sell 87 trash routes, nine landfills and 10 transfer stations in 12 states.
The settlement was announced the same day the department and seven state attorneys general sued to block the merger on anti-competitive grounds. The settlement would end the suit.
The Teamster Union remains concerned about the integration of the two waste giants.
“Despite multiple outreach attempts by the Teamsters, we have yet to see a real commitment from Republic Services to sit down with us and discuss the future of labor relations at the newly combined company at a national level. How can you successfully merge two major logistic enterprises if you don’t talk to one of your key constituencies?” said Bob Morales, Director of the Teamsters Solid Waste, Recycling and Related Industries Division.
The companies said they expected to start with the integration on December 5. However, the regulatory approval of the merger will not be completed until the public had a chance to comment on the settlement, which a court will consider before final sign off.
“We are concerned that companies that disrespect their workers may also disregard the consumers and the environment. We will continue to work closely with municipalities, consumer advocates, the incoming Department of Justice, State Attorneys General and other elected officials to protect the interests of our members and our communities,” Morales said.
The Teamsters Union is the largest union for workers in the private waste and recycling industry, representing about 9,000 workers at Republic Services and Allied Waste.
Under the terms of the proposed settlement, Republic and Allied must divest waste collection and/or disposal assets to a Department of Justice approved buyer or buyers as follows:
- Atlanta –collection routes and transfer station assets;
- Cape Girardeau, Mo.–collection routes and transfer station assets;
- Charlotte, N.C.–collection routes, transfer station assets, and landfill assets;
- Cleveland– transfer station assets and landfill assets;
- Denver–landfill assets;
- Flint, Mich.–landfill assets;
- Fort Worth, Texas–collection routes and landfill assets;
- Greenville-Spartanburg, S.C.–collection routes, transfer station assets, and landfill assets;
- Houston–collection routes, transfer station assets, landfill assets, and access to landfill disposal capacity;
- Lexington, Ky.–collection routes;
- Los Angeles–landfill assets;
- Lubbock, Texas–collection routes;
- Northwest Indiana–collection routes, transfer station assets, and access to landfill disposal capacity;
- Philadelphia–transfer station assets and access to landfill disposal capacity; and
- San Francisco–landfill assets.
Under the proposed settlement, Republic would have to notify the Department and the relevant state before acquiring any waste collection and/or disposal operations in these areas for the next 10 years, the duration of the settlement.
Local unions should call the Solid Waste/Recycling Division at (202) 508-6422 to report any news on how the merger integration is proceeding in their area, or if they have any questions.