Teamsters

North America's Strongest Union

Solid Waste and Recycling

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.

Republic Services Workers Demand PPE and Improved Workplace Conditions Amid COVID-19 Pandemic

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. 

A Message to Waste Division Members from Director Chuck Stiles - April 27, 2020

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.

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