By a nearly 3-1 margin, workers at Republic Services/Allied Waste, who serve all of Cape Cod, voted to join Local 59 in New Bedford, Mass. The vote was 22-8.
“We will work hard to negotiate a strong first contract for these front-load drivers, residential drivers, mechanics and container repair workers,” said George Belanger, Local 59 Secretary-Treasurer. “For far too long, they have had to endure terrible working conditions and a lack of respect. That will change immediately now that they have joined the Teamsters.”
“We want respect,” said Ed Swale, a driver who has worked at the company since May 2011, when he returned from Iraq serving in the Army National Guard. “The workplace had really spiraled out of control. We had a new district manager who treated us poorly and nine workers left. As Teamsters, we will have the respect we deserve.”
Swale said he contacted the Teamsters after learning that 113 workers at Republic joined Local 251 in East Providence, R.I. in May.