NEW YORK, Aug. 2 /PRNewswire/ -- Waste Management of New York and Teamsters Local 813 have reached agreement on terms of a new contract for 115 drivers and helpers serving commercial accounts in New York City and Westchester County. The new contract, which will be finalized over the next few days, calls for employees to begin contributing toward health care benefits at the same rate as other Waste Management employees. The settlement ends a 17-week strike by the Teamsters Local 813. Waste Management's goal was to reach an agreement that keeps its workers among the highest paid in the industry, with strong benefits, while preserving its ability to provide competitively-priced commercial collection service in New York City. The agreement with Local 813 achieves this objective. "It's always been our goal to treat all of our employees - including the 26 percent of our workforce that is unionized - in a fair and equitable manner," Larry O'Donnell, President and COO, told analysts on the company's second quarter earnings call June 28. "This includes offering competitive wages and benefits, and safe working conditions to each and every employee within Waste Management." One of Waste Management's key objectives from the outset of negotiations nearly a year ago was to work with Local 813 to control rapidly increasing costs for medical insurance. Under the agreement between the company and the union, employees will begin paying toward the cost of health care at the same rate of contribution now made by the company's non-union employees under the Waste Management health care plan. Health care coverage will continue to be provided by the union's medical plan. Waste Management and the union are working on plans to bring employees back to work over the next several weeks in a safe and orderly manner. Waste Management greatly appreciates the efforts of the Federal mediator over several months in bringing both sides to an agreement. The company also thanks its drivers, mechanics and route managers from across the U.S. who helped ensure no service interruptions during the strike.
SOURCE Waste Management of New York