Sanitation Workers Extend Strike to Seattle

Disruptions In Trash and Recycling Pickups Predicted as Workers Strike Against Republic’s Labor Law Violations and Attacks on Health Care

Garbage ManWorkers at Republic Services/Allied Waste  – the second largest solid waste and recycling company in the U.S. – found picket lines outside the facilities when they arrived at work in Seattle, Bellevue, Lynnwood and Kent early on Friday morning.

Striking members of Teamster Local Union 991 had traveled all the way from Mobile, AL t the Northwest to expand picket lines to Republic’s Seattle-area facilities. Members of Teamsters Joint Council 28, as well as community supporters, also put up sympathy pickets.  250 workers at these facilities–refused to cross the lines.

Sanitation Worker Strike

On Thursday night, March 22, all 24 Republic Services workers in Mobile went on strike. They are protesting Republic’s repeated labor law violations. In February, Republic negotiators agreed to a contract, only to then back out when they decided they wanted to pay less for family health care coverage.

Within a few hours of Mobile workers going on strike, Republic Services workers in Columbus Ohio and Buffalo N.Y. refused to cross sympathy picket lines in support of strikers in Mobile. Trash and recycling work in those two cities was effectively shut down from Friday through Monday. Sympathy picket lines are currently spreading to other Republic facilities across the nation, where the Teamsters have nearly 150 contracts.

In 2011, Republic Services/Allied Waste reported $8.2 billion in revenues, with profits of $589 million – a 15% increase per share since 2010.

“Republic claims it can’t afford to provide quality, reasonably priced health care for its employees,” said Teamsters Solid Waste, Recycling and Related Industries Division Director Robert Morales. “Yet the employees are the ones who risk their lives every day to protect the public health and rake in profits for the company.”

“I’ve worked at Republic for 16 years,” said striking worker Steve Burroughs. “I don’t want to strike, but these top 1 percent corporations have done nothing but harass and intimidate us. As a worker, I’m part of the 99 percent in America and I can’t stand by any more while our jobs are destroyed.”

For more information, visit https://www.facebook.com/RepublicServicesTeamsters and follow https://twitter.com/repubteamsters.

Founded in 1903, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters represents more than 1.4 million hardworking men and women in the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico. Visit www.teamster.org for more information.

Emery Reddy