Republic Services, known as Allied Waste locally, is up to more dirty tricks. On May 9, the nation's second largest solid waste and recycling company locked out 80 Teamsters in Evansville, Ind. after trying to take away the workers' pension in bargaining.
The lockout represents yet another vicious attack on workers by Allied Waste/Republic across the country. Back in March, the company tried to force workers in Alabama, New York and Ohio to accept substandard contract proposals in bargaining, while corporate bigwigs lined their pockets with company profits.
On March 23, Teamsters in Alabama, employed by Republic, went on strike after the company reneged on a negotiated contract agreement. Picket lines spread to Ohio and New York and eventually the Puget Sound region.
The Union eventually settled its contracts with the company, but only after Republic saw that workers were willing to put their jobs on the line to support their fellow Teamsters and protect their livelihoods.
Now, Republic is at it again. With the lockout of Teamsters in Indiana, they are attacking the retirement security not only of Indiana Teamsters, but of all Teamster members and their families.
In a statement released on May 8, Teamster Solid Waste Division Director Robert Morales said:
“Waste collection is one of the most dangerous jobs in America. “These workers put their bodies in harm’s way every day to protect the public health. It is offensive that Republic’s CEO will get $23 million if he dies, and in the meantime the company wants to throw out the pension of the men and women who do the work that earns it millions,” he said.
Local 117 is currently in bargaining with Republic/Allied Waste and Waste Management. Contracts for 250 Teamsters in the recycling industry expire at the end of May.