Teamsters from Boston and Atlanta at Republic Services are striking and picketing at locations in Massachusetts, California, Indiana and Georgia.
The actions started on September 5 when negotiations between Local 25 in Boston and Republic Services broke down in the face of company stonewalling. After less than two hours at the table, management’s anti-union, Phoenix-based negotiator offered nothing new to the local union negotiating team.
“This group of Republic drivers and helpers, and their local union, have our full support,” said Jim Hoffa, Teamsters General President. “This is about corporate greed run amok, and we back these workers in their struggle against it.”
Local 25 members struck Republic Services in Marshfield, Mass. at 1 a.m., Thursday, August 29. Since the strike began the 24 Teamsters Local 25 members have walked the picket lines outside Republic Services, located on Route 139 (965 Plain St.) in Marshfield, 24 hours a day, seven days per week and have received support from area residents, elected officials and many other unions.
“Every day Republic is paying thousands of dollars for scabs, private security and fines. They are letting garbage pile up everywhere. But to them it’s not just about milking every last cent out of a worker’s labor, it’s about having uncontrolled power. However, the Teamsters union will not back down,” said Sean O’Brien, Teamsters Local 25 President.
Local 25 has urged other union members and supporters to show solidarity by joining their hardworking union brothers and sisters on the picket line, and that’s exactly what Teamsters have done.
In the last few days, Teamsters have exercised their rights under federal law and are refusing to cross picket lines. In addition to several locations in Massachusetts, members of Local 350 in San Jose, Calif.; Local 70 in Fremont, Calif.; and Local 396 in Huntington Beach, Calif. are exercising their rights not to cross an extended picket line.
Local 728 Republic members are striking in Cumming, Ga. and extended their picket lines to McDonough, Ga. and Evansville, Ind. (Local 215). Also, workers at a nonunion Republic yard in Winder, Ga. set up their own picket line and stood in solidarity with their brothers and sisters in Cumming.
“Republic Services has a long history of violating workers’ rights, and our members are sending a message that we’re not going to take it. In Cumming, Republic has been unilaterally changing workers’ pay and work assignments, in direct violation of federal law. Our members felt they had no choice but to strike in order to send Republic a wake-up call,” said Randy Brown, President of Local 728.
“Sanitation and recycling work is the fifth most dangerous job in the country,” said Chuck Stiles, Assistant Director of the Teamsters Solid Waste and Recycling Division. “Yet Republic is spending hundreds of millions on stock buybacks and dividends, rather than investing in their workforce and the equipment they operate.”