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Republic Faces Labor Strife

Workers are striking Republic Services Inc.’s facility in Mobile, Ala., and others are not crossing picket lines at six other facilities.

At the Mobile facility 24 workers went on strike March 22 over health care contract issues, according to a news release from the Teamsters, whose Local 991 represents the Mobile workers.

More than 400 Teamsters workers have honored picket lines in Columbus, Ohio; Buffalo, N.Y.; Seattle; and Seattle-area cities of Bellevue, Lynnwood and Kent. The Teamsters said in Columbus and Buffalo waste and recycling services by Republic were effectively shut down March 23 through March 26.

Peg Mulloy, media relations manager for the Phoenix-based Republic, said in an e-mail March 30, “We are pleased that our routes in Lynnwood, Bellevue and Kent are running as scheduled today. We regret any inconvenience this may have caused our customers.”

The Mobile workers are claiming Republic negotiators agreed to a contract and then backed out, deciding the wanted to pay less for health care coverage.

"Republic claims it can't afford to provide quality, reasonably priced health care for its employees," said Robert Morales, Teamsters Solid Waste, Recycling and Related Industries Division director. "Yet the employees are the ones who risk their lives every day to protect the public health and rake in profits for the company."

The Teamsters represent approximately 9,000 employees at Republic North American operations.


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