Republic Services Threatens Teamsters in Evansville
(Evansville, Ind.) – Teamsters Local Union 215, which represents Republic Services/Allied Waste workers in Evansville, received a letter from Republic yesterday in which it threatened to lock out its 80 workers as of 9:01 tonight.
Teamsters Local 215 has been in negotiations for a new contract with Republic since March 2, 2012. Republic stated in yesterday’s letter that it will lock out its workers unless they agree to give up their pensions.
“It is outrageous that in the middle of negotiations Republic would start making threats to the jobs of 80 loyal workers,” said Local 215 President Chuck Whobrey. “Our members provide a public health service to the city of Evansville, and they deserve to be able to retire with dignity. We are committed to the bargaining process, and these threats are uncalled for.”
“The unemployment rate in Evansville is almost 9 percent,” Whobrey said. “And yet this highly profitable company seems content to destroy local jobs. We have been willing to negotiate with Republic all along—in fact, we proposed to extend the contract at our last meeting. Today we again reached out to Republic to offer a 30-day contract extension, and we certainly hope that this time they will accept.”
“Unfortunately, we are seeing a pattern here. In the last year, Republic has increasingly tried to intimidate, harass and bully its employees,” said Teamsters Solid Waste, Recycling and Related Industries Division Director Bob Morales. “Back in March, Republic Services workers in Alabama were forced to strike in response to Republic’s labor law violations, which included backing out of a negotiated contract with Teamsters Local 991 in Mobile.”
Republic Services/Allied Waste is America’s second largest solid waste and recycling company. In 2011, Republic earned $8.2 billion in revenues and declared profits of $589 million, up 15% per share from 2010.
Next week Republic Services will hold its annual shareholder meeting, where the Teamster Union plans to speak out against the Board of Directors’ plans to provide approximately $23 million in benefits to the estate of Republic President and CEO Donald W. Slager upon his death.
“Waste collection is one of the most dangerous jobs in America,” Morales said. “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.”
The Teamsters represent approximately 9,000 employees at Republic Services and its subsidiaries at more than 150 facilities throughout the U.S., Puerto Rico and Canada.
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. Follow us on Twitter @TeamsterPower.