November 6, 2007: Local 396 officials ended the strike at Waste Management and let the company permanently replace more than 40 Teamsters with scabs.
On Oct. 31, about 450 striking wastehaulers in Los Angeles reluctantly voted to ratify the same contract they had previously rejected, because they were under the threat of being permanently replaced.
What these members did not know was that Local 396 officials agreed to end the strike without negotiating that strikers would have the right to return to their jobs.
Local 396 officials waited until after members had voted. Then business agents called more than 40 Teamsters to tell them not to go to work because they had been “permanently replaced.”
We thought it was the union’s job to fight for you—not to tell you that you’re out of a job.
Waste Management dumped dozens of Teamster strikers—and replaced them with scabs hired through a temporary agency. Under the law, Local 396 strikers who have been “permanently replaced” have the right to return to their jobs as opening become available.
This never should have happened. It is standard operating procedure for Teamster locals to make it a condition of any strike settlement that all strikers return to their jobs.
At the very least, Local 396 officials had an obligation to level with the members about what was at stake in the strike vote—not to hide the critical fact that more than 40 Teamsters would be out of a job.
Local 396 members understand that “An Injury to One Is An Injury to All.”
The rank-and-file movement that organized to Vote No on Waste Management’s substandard contract offers is now uniting to fight for the jobs of the members who were permanently replaced.