Georgia Waste Workers Ratify Excellent New Agreement
Local 728 members at Iron Mountain are hailing the ratification of their new contract at Iron Mountain. The small but determined unit voted unanimously in favor of the agreement that will cover waste workers with improvements across the board, including annual wage increases.
The extra pay was good news for Rod Williams, a 33-year driver at Iron Mountain who said the new contract is the best he’s ever seen.
“We won big with this contract. We are all thankful to Local 728 for standing with us throughout negotiations and fighting on our behalf,” Williams said. “This is the best contract yet, and it will help us for years to come. We are now stronger than ever.”
Williams added that workers showed their solidarity with workers who had been out of work due to the pandemic, which allowed Local 728 to secure 12 additional months for laid-off employees.
“The company wanted to reduce it, but we look out for each other and we got an extra 12 months for the guys that put so much into this company and deserved to be taken care of during these difficult times,” Williams said.
In addition to significant wage increases and an additional 12 months for laid-off employees, Iron Mountain drivers also secured:
- A guaranteed eight-hour day (compared to four hours in the previous contract);
- Double time for holidays;
- New language to protect laid-off employees and our bargaining union work;
- Stronger seniority protections;
- Better attendance policy to further protect workers, with improvements to personal and sick days;
- Proper PPE and safer equipment, with the right to refuse to drive trucks or handle any equipment workers deem to be unsafe;
- And, new language to address issues related to surveillance technology (Kinetics) so that the company cannot use in-truck cameras to discipline workers or deny compensation.
“The guys were ecstatic and said they had never seen work like this before during negotiations. We also won over three new members, who were so impressed they signed up with Local 728 and now puts this unit at 100 percent,” said Vickie Beavers, Local 728 Business Agent. “This contract is proof that bargaining matters when it comes to overcoming the obstacles of so-called Right to Work laws.”
“This strong contract recognizes the hard work our members at Iron Mountain perform every day. This unit stood strong at the bargaining table and it shows. This excellent agreement provides workers with wage increases, additional time off and better working conditions,” said Chuck Stiles, Teamsters Solid Waste and Recycling Director and Local 728 Vice President. “I want to thank President Matt Higdon for all his hard work in negotiations, and I commend these dedicated workers for staying engaged and united throughout the bargaining process.”