Local 350 members at Recology in San Bruno, California recently voted overwhelmingly (with only one "no" vote) to ratify a new contract after a long, hard-fought negotiation.
Greg Dowis, a Republic Services employee, is working hard keeping his community clean…but possibly at a cost.
Last week, waste workers at Republic Services in Mobile, Alabama and Salem, Oregon ratified two new contracts after a hard-fought battle at the bargaining table. Both agreements were approved by overwhelming margins and contain numerous improvements for each of the two units.
The Teamsters are calling on billionaire Bill Gates to provide the workers of sanitation company Republic Services with personal protective equipment (PPE) during the coronavirus pandemic.
The Teamsters are launching a digital advertising campaign around its annual shareholder meeting on Friday. Gates, through his investment arm Cascade Investment LLC, is the largest shareholder of Republic Services, the second-largest waste company in the U.S.
On Friday, Republic Services sanitation workers held protests — standing six feet apart — at facilities in California, Massachusetts, Georgia and Ohio, demanding that Republic Services and its largest shareholder, Bill Gates, protect workers by providing proper PPE, improving safety standards and guaranteeing to pay every worker for 40 hours of work amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The Teamsters members held signs saying “Republic Services: Workers Need Protection.”
Chuck Stiles, director of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters' Solid Waste and Recycling Division, said he is also noticing the trend. At the same time, face protection is not at the level his organization would like to see for waste workers. The union included masks among PPE considered part of best practices for all waste workers in a recent document and Stiles believes the options provided should be more robust.
I am happy to report that since my last update we have been in consistent, productive communications with many of your employers. After sending letters out to major employers last month outlining best practices related to COVID-19, I have been in regular contact with Waste Management Inc. (WMI) and Waste Connections to ensure our members are protected on the job. Division representatives and local unions have also been in direct contact with Recology, a large Teamster employer in California.
Ken Doot is a driver for Waste Management and a proud Teamster Member of Local 731 for over 25 years. He’s a 3rd generation member of Teamsters Local 731. As an Essential Worker during the COVID-19 Pandemic, he’s committed to keep doing his job every day because he know how many peope depend on the service he provides.