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Houston Waste Workers Vote Overwhelmingly to Ratify First Contract


(HOUSTON) –– Workers at WCA Waste Corporation of America in Houston, who voted to join the Teamsters in November, have ratified a first contract that improves wages and health care, among other gains. The workers are the only private waste company employees in Texas who have a union contract.

“The organizing win, and now this first contract, represent huge victories for these employees,” said Robert Mele, President of Teamsters Local 988 in Houston. “This three-year contract will provide the workers and their families with the security and respect they need and deserve.”

The bargaining unit consists of 140 drivers, helpers and general laborers.

“I want to thank Ron Herrera, Director of the Teamsters Solid Waste, Recycling and Related Industries Division, for his support in these organizing and contract campaigns,” Mele said. “I also want to thank the International Union’s Organizing Department and Director Jeff Farmer for all his help and support.”

“The Teamsters are committed to building strength in the waste and recycling industries in Texas and across the United States,” Herrera said. “Waste workers perform a very dangerous job and they work hard to keep our communities safe every day. They deserve to be protected as well, with fair wages, good benefits and safe working conditions.”

The three-year contract provides:
•    Improved wages, including new split-shift pay;
•    Better health care: the workers move from a company health plan to a union plan, TeamCare,
•    Seniority protections; and
•    Improved safety language.

“I am very happy to be a Teamster and now we have a strong contract,” said Israel Garcia, a WCA employee and a member of the negotiating committee. “It feels good to know the Teamsters are watching out for us.”

Founded in 1903, the Teamsters Union represents 1.4 million hardworking men and women throughout the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico. Visit www.teamster.org for more information. Follow us on Twitter @Teamsters and “like” us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/teamsters.