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Strike at Allied Waste continues

Published: Sat, March 30, 2013 @ 12:09 a.m.

Company brings in other workers in effort to prevent pickup delays

By Jamison Cocklin



The gridlock between Republic Services/ Allied Waste and approximately 103 of its Youngstown employees continued Friday, as a strike that began early Thursday showed no sign of letting up.

Republic said it had brought in nonunion employees and supervisors from other regional divisions to prevent any delays in collecting recyclables and trash. A company spokesman said those efforts will continue throughout the weekend.

In some neighborhoods, Allied Waste trash cans have sat on the curbside since late Wednesday.

The company has more than 100,000 customers throughout the Mahoning Valley and Pennsylvania with multiple contracts in cities and townships across the region.

Meanwhile, Teamsters Local 377, which represents the Youngstown workers, was quiet Friday. Its offices were closed for the Easter holiday. Calls to both the local and the International Brotherhood of Teamsters in Washington, D.C., went unanswered.

At the heart of the impasse is a dispute over the workers’ contract. In October, they rejected Republic’s proposal to extend it, and they have been without one since.

Republic claimed Friday that the strike was unlawful.

The union, however, has said the company is violating federal labor laws by changing working conditions without bargaining and refusing to provide timely information related to the process.

Douglas Dunn, general manager of Republic Services in Youngstown, said Friday that the union has failed to make a wage proposal even though the company repeatedly has requested one. He also said “the Teamsters have simply stonewalled us on discussing pension issues.”

Workers are irate over a proposal to shift their retirement benefits from the failing Central States Pension Fund to a 401(k) program. Although Central States is expected to be insolvent by 2023, workers claim the move would reduce their benefits severely and decrease the company’s overall contribution.

Dunn added that requests to negotiate in “good faith” repeatedly have been denied by the union. The next negotiating session is scheduled for April 9.

Friday saw Republic touting a move in Michigan last weekend when about 320 Teamster employees in Michigan voted to leave the Central States Fund and move into the Western Conference of Teamsters Pension, which covers more than 230,000 active participants in 13 western states. Its funding is considered by actuaries to be strong.

Still, it remains unclear whether a move to that pension fund is an option for Republic’s Youngstown workers.

Ken Paff, a national organizer for Teamsters for a Democratic Union, an independent watchdog group, said the Teamsters International union has been weakened in recent years by the fractured interests of locals across the country. He added, however, that the union still has significant leverage with the company.

“When steel was moved offshore, it was different; with waste you can’t drive a trash truck in Indonesia and pick up trash in the United States,” Paff said.

Waste Management and Republic/Allied Waste have a strong lock on the American sanitary services industry. One estimate, from Standard & Poor’s, shows the companies have about 42 percent of the market share.


1scrappy(20 comments)posted 3 years, 2 months ago


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2khw729(8 comments)posted 3 years, 2 months ago

Fire them, and get some people who actually want to work. I'm sure there are plenty of folks out there that could use the job.

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3seinfried(19 comments)posted 3 years, 2 months ago

Those people have a legitimate grip..One man drives the truck and gets the trash.. all while the truck is running. Seems very unsafe to me..i watch my kids very close when the truck comes..

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4luvnlife96(5 comments)posted 3 years, 2 months ago

Since when can the solvency of a pension plan be given a predetermined date? This strike is not about that pension plan alone. Your trash will get picked up eventually, maybe a few days late, but it will get picked up. For all the readers of the Vindicator out there, this strike has nothing to do with the above mentioned "pension plan" at all. Briefly noted in this article is the real reason for the strike- unfair labor practices, which the company has yet to address. Also, FYI these employees can't be fired for striking.They are union members and that's illegal if the company did that.

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5salem1361(5 comments)posted 3 years, 2 months ago

To the person that posted that they should just hire someone who wants to work. Your mentality is exactly why the American worker is being taken advantage of everywhere. Workers in this country deserve fair wages, and fair benefits. This is exactly what the unions fought for and exactly what companies don't want to pay anymore. If they were allowed to companies would pay you 2.00 an hour. I am assuming you are too young to remember how unions fought to make workplaces safer, to get to a 40 hour week, to give you basic healthcare. You need to support their fights not belittle them.

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6redvert(2238 comments)posted 3 years, 2 months ago

Yes salem, unions did fight for the 40 hour week etc. But look at what they have turned into since then, once the big guys realized how much money there was to be had in dues, things changed. The rank and file has no say so on how those dues are used whether you think you do or not. I for one preferred to be able to think for myself, not just do as I was told by some union boss. I advanced on my merit instead of waiting for "bubba" who had one day more seniority to croak or retire.

ps: Check with your union rep to see what response will be allowed!!!

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7redeye1(5609 comments)posted 3 years, 2 months ago

Redvert You are absolutely right! I worked in a union job, all they really cared about were your dues. When it came time for help they always went with the company's idea to settle things.. To me they held back good employees and only worked for the lazy ones( sometimes) to keep their jobs. If you even said anything bad about the way the union did things you were screwed over. .

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8Wasteoftime(1 comment)posted 3 years, 2 months ago

Unions are a waste and only for the stupid and lazy! I know more then 3 of my freinds who lost jobs due to unions look at hostess. I also have a family member who works for allied and 14+ a hour in this area is great pay especially since you pick up trash which at this time I'm doing for free and taking it to my business to drop it off

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9papa1(711 comments)posted 3 years, 2 months ago

let's be glad it's not august and 90 degrees out. and I support the union.

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10papa1(711 comments)posted 3 years, 2 months ago

there is corruption everywhere today. but if it wasn't for the unions fighting at the beginning of the last century we wouldn't have a middle class today, and that's why repubs hate unions. there's good and bad in everything but without unions the middle class would disappear. the unions are our only hope to keep the American dream.

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