(MEMPHIS, Tenn.) – Teamsters who work at Republic Services, Bill Gates’ giant trash corporation [NYSE: RSG], are fighting back against discrimination.
African-American employees in Memphis and Millington, Tenn., have filed U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) charges against Republic, alleging that the company intentionally shorts pay checks, creates meritless discipline, and suddenly changes work times and start locations for black workers. In the EEOC filing, workers state that the company has engaged in “continuous efforts to make work conditions hostile and malicious for black drivers.”
Republic Services workers in Memphis and Millington are members of Teamsters Local 667.
“Republic’s sanitation workers risk their lives every day to protect the public health, in the fifth most dangerous job in America,” said James Jones, President of Local 667. “It is outrageous that Republic takes in $10 billion a year and that Bill Gates gets about $100 million in stock dividends each year, yet the company discriminates against African-American workers here in Memphis.”
“It is truly a shame that 50 years after Dr. King was assassinated in Memphis, this company still thinks it can treat drivers any way it wants. We are still men,” said William Cleaves, a driver at Republic Services in Millington.
Republic Services/Allied Waste is America’s second-largest trash and landfill corporation.
Republic’s largest shareholder is Microsoft chairman Bill Gates, who owns nearly 30 percent of the company’s shares through Cascade Investment, LLC – about $3.3 billion worth.
Michael Larson, chief investment officer at Cascade Investment and investment manager for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, has been a Republic Services board director since 2009.
The Teamsters represent approximately 9,000 employees at Republic Services and its subsidiaries at more than 150 facilities throughout the U.S., Canada and Puerto Rico.
Founded in 1903, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters 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.