Stericycle and Shred-it Workers in Rhode Island Ratify First Teamster Contracts


Local 251 Members at Woonsocket Stericycle and Pawtucket Shred-it Overwhelmingly Ratify Respective First Contracts

(PAWTUCKET and WOONSOCKET, R.I.) – Over the weekend, 60 workers at two Stericycle-owned businesses in Rhode Island, represented by Teamsters Local 251, overwhelmingly ratified their respective first contracts after more than a year of hard-fought negotiations.

Woonsocket drivers at Stericycle organized in Oct. 2020. Pawtucket drivers and helpers at Shred-it, a subsidiary of Stericycle, Inc., organized in Feb. 2021. Since then, both groups of workers have stood strong at the bargaining table to secure agreements that would address years of workplace concerns.

“We wanted to make sure our first contract recognized the hard and dangerous work we perform every day at this company, especially throughout the pandemic. Covid-19 made our concerns all the more pressing, and the need for a union voice all the clearer,” said Nate Monteiro,” a 14-year Stericycle driver. “We knew what we deserved, and we made sure the issues that mattered most to us were properly addressed. We stood strong to secure better wages, stronger health insurance, a more secure retirement and countless other improvements under the backing of a strong Teamster contract.”

Stericycle, Inc. collects and disposes regulated substances, such as medical waste and sharps, pharmaceuticals and hazardous waste. Shred-it, a wholly owned subsidiary of Stericycle, Inc., provides confidential shredding services to businesses across North America.

“We weren’t afraid to make our voices heard, and we are proud to have taken a brave stand during negotiations,” said Chris LaFlamme, a 23-year Shred-it driver. “The need for a strong contract was never lost on any of us. That’s why we never wavered, despite the company’s slow pace during negotiations. This agreement reflects our strength and solidarity. My co-workers and I are proud of what we have accomplished with this first contract, and we are thrilled to finally have true protection on the job.”

LaFlamme and Monteiro both noted that workers at both locations edged close to a strike in the weeks prior to ratification. Earlier this year, the Local 251 members conducted strike authorization votes, which passed by a unanimous vote at Shred-it Pawtucket and overwhelmingly at Stericycle Woonsocket.

“After many months of negotiations, practice picketing, strike authorization votes and support from the community, Stericycle and Shred-it workers have successfully ratified two excellent first contracts. These agreements show that Stericycle workers have the ability to bring real change to the workplace when they gain a union voice on the job,” said Matt Taibi, Secretary Treasurer of Local 251 and Teamsters International Vice President. “Local 251 members’ success at the bargaining table is a testament to their strength and unity. Both contracts will serve as a strong foundation for future agreements, and our power will only increase as we grow union density at both companies across North America.”     

In 2020, the Teamsters Solid Waste and Recycling Division launched a union-wide campaign to organize Stericycle and Shred-it workers throughout the U.S. and Canada.

“I want to applaud Stericycle and Shred-it workers for their dedication and commitment throughout this long, drawn-out battle at the bargaining table. This was a tough fight, but this strong group secured improvements across the board,” said Chuck Stiles, Director of the Teamsters Solid Waste and Recycling Division. “These workers have gained an excellent first contract that will protect and enhance their livelihoods long into the future.”

Founded in 1903, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters represents 1.3 million hardworking men and women throughout the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico. Visit for more information. Follow us on Twitter @Teamsters and “like” us on Facebook at