Republic Services and Dekalb County Workers Marched in Atlanta to Demand Justice for Sanitation Workers
WASHINGTON, Feb. 7, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The International Brotherhood of Teamsters is proud to announce the release of a new video from the annual Martin Luther King. Jr. Day march in Atlanta on Jan. 21, 2013 showing sanitation workers fighting for equality. The video is posted online here.
At the march, more than 400 sanitation workers from Atlanta, Ga., Pensacola, Fla., Mobile, Ala. and Memphis, Tenn. joined workers from the 1968 Memphis sanitation strike to demand that Republic Services/Allied Waste [NYSE: RSG] treat its workers with respect. They were joined by sanitation workers in Dekalb County, Ga. who are fighting to form a union. Two sanitation workers from the 1968 Memphis sanitation strike, Baxter Leach and Alvin Turner, also traveled from Memphis for the march.
Sanitation workers perform the fourth-most dangerous job in the country. Teamster members employed by Republic/Allied Waste are standing up to demand that the company stop these abuses now. The workers singled out and called on Bill Gates to stop discriminating against waste workers. As the primary shareholder of Republic stock, Gates owns approximately $2.4 billion worth of stock, or 25 percent of the total worth of the company, and his investment advisor sits on Republic's board of directors.
Republic is attacking its workers all across America. In some cities, workers are cheated out of a day's pay or more when they work overtime. In others, Republic is trying to outsource landfill jobs to low-wage contractors, and to force workers to give up their right to a trial under the Civil Rights Act if the company discriminates against them.
Republic's attacks on its workers have increased in the last year. In May, 2012, the company locked out 80 members of Teamsters Local 215 in Evansville, Ind. for six weeks when the workers refused to accept the destruction of their pension. Out-of-town replacement drivers damaged people's homes, vehicles and even power lines during the lockout.
Last March, the company reneged on a ratified contract with Teamsters Local 991 in Mobile. Local 991 members were forced to strike to protest the company's illegal behavior and finally secure a contract. Workers in four other cities across the country honored their picket lines before the company agreed to a contract about a week later. During the lockout in Evansville, workers in five cities honored picket lines before the lockout was ended.
Republic/Allied Waste's total revenues were more than $8.2 billion in 2011, with profits of more than $589 million. In May 2012, the same month it locked out its workers in Evansville, the company approved a death and disability benefit for its CEO valued at more than $23 million.
Founded in 1903, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters represents 1.4 million hardworking men and women throughout the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico. Visit www.teamster.org for more information. Follow us at www.PickUpTheGarbage.com, on Twitter @Teamsters and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/teamsters.
SOURCE International Brotherhood of Teamsters