Local 763 Saves Republic Services Member’s Livelihood
A Teamster who was wrongly fired has returned to work at Republic Services after nearly 16 months, and he received more than $73,000 in back pay and benefits thanks to the efforts of Local 763 near Seattle.
The worker, Tom Quarles, was fired in early January 2013 after the company said he failed to show up for work on a Saturday. The company alleged that the missed day triggered the termination due to earlier absences.
Local 763 argued that the worker was not notified by management that he was scheduled to work that day. There should have been no discipline, Local 763 argued.
Quarles, a Teamster since 1999, had worked for many years in a different department that was never required to work on Saturdays.
“More recently he has been working on the hauling side of the business, and the company failed to tell him that there were occasions where employees would need to work Saturdays,” said Local 763 Secretary-Treasurer Scott Sullivan. “In addition, the company never told him he was supposed to work on the Saturday in question, and the evidence was clear in this case.”
Not only did Local 763 win the initial arbitration case, but the union also defeated the company’s attempt to appeal and strike down portions of the arbitration decision.
“The company lost but continued to mess with our member’s livelihood,” Sullivan said. “If they are willing to do this to a union member, can you imagine how they must treat workers who are unrepresented?”
Quarles returned to work on April 22, 2014, and received more than $41,500 in back wages, more than $31,500 in health, welfare and pension benefits, 240 hours of vacation and 75 hours of paid sick time.
“This case illustrates why we need unions,” said Jason Powell, Local 763 business agent who represents waste workers. “The union was there to fight for his rights with the contract backing us up. Our member is now back at his living-wage job, making $17 an hour with employer-paid Teamster health and welfare and pension benefits. Instead of getting assistance from the state at taxpayers’ expense, he is a productive member of society performing a job well and living independently.”
“I want to thank Local 763 for all they did for me and I am happy to be back at work after 16 months,” Quarles said. “I am proud to do my job and I am proud to be a Teamster.”