September 19, 2008: Striking Milwaukee Teamsters today unanimously rejected Waste Management’s proposal to replace their pension plan with a 401(k).
The proposal was Waste Management’s “last, best, and final” offer. The company has threatened to take the offer the table by Sunday if members rejected it.
Over 200 members of Local 200 are in their fourth week of a strike at the garbage giant.
The major sticking point has been WM’s proposal to bust out of the Teamster Central States Pension Plan in favor of an inferior 401(k) plan.
Members have been solid on the picket line. Management has brought in their “Green Team” of scabs—but they haven’t been able to handle all the trash piling up.
Management has issued publicity about the UPS pullout from Central States, which was agreed to by the International Union. They’ve also refused to bargain fairly; unfair labor practice charges have been filed.
The pension issue has broader implications, because WM is the largest waste haul corporation and has 13 contracts in other areas in the Central States Fund.
All Teamsters should support the strikers, including using an extension of picket lines if it becomes necessary against this corporate giant.