The workers who sort and process all of New York City's residential recycling rallied outside City Hall ahead of a City Council hearing on a potential strike at the Sims Municipal Recycling in Sunset Park.
The workers at the facility are unionizing with Teamsters Local 210 and are calling on Sims to bargain a contract. Approximately 70 workers are employed at the plant. The $110 million facility opened in 2013. It has the capacity to process 1,000 tons of metal, glass and plastic per day. It also features a recycling education center.
The workers informed company management in December that a majority had signed union authorization cards with Teamsters Local 210, but they say the company has refused to bargain a contract. The workers have since filed unfair labor practice charges at the National Labor Relations Board alleging a union-busting campaign by management that included threats and retaliation against union supporters.
The City Council Sanitation Committee is holding a hearing today titled "The Potential for a Work Stoppage at Sims Metal Management and its Potential Impact on Residential Recycling."
Workers from the facility and representatives from the union local were joined by council members Carlos Menchaca, Antonio Reynoso and Daneek Miller as well as representatives from several New York city nonprofits.
For its part, Sims has not publicly commented on the unionization drive.