July 10, 2007: Waste Management has locked out 500 Teamsters in Oakland, Calif. for refusing to give in to company demands that they pay a larger share of their healthcare benefits. The lockout is entering its second week. These locked out Teamsters deserve our full support.
Teamsters Local 70 and Waste Management met with a mediator on Monday, July 9th but both sides reported no progress.
The company has brought in 200 scabs but has admitted that they are not able to adequately pick up the trash. The media reports that garbage is “piling up” in Alameda County. Management is even asking residents to drive their own garbage to transfer stations. That request is not going over big with angry citizens.
"I'm not going to double bag these smelly yard scraps, put them in my car and drive them across town to a transfer station," Oakland’s Theresa LeQuey told the San Francisco Chronicle.. "I'd rather hand it over to a pack of wild dogs roaming the neighborhood."
Oakland Mayor Ron Dellums says that Waste Management’s lockout of Local 70 Teamsters is a “dress rehearsal” for upcoming contract negotiations with Local 396 in Los Angeles. This fall, Local 396 will negotiate contracts covering nearly 2,000 wastehaul Teamsters in Los Angeles County.
Local 396 officials recently agreed to contract could force 150 Teamsters at Waste Management in Chino and Corona, Calif. to pay $200 or more per month for their healthcare by the end of the five-year deal.
That deal cannot become the standard for wastehaul Teamsters in Southern or Northern California. It’s time for our union to draw the line and tell Waste Management, “Don’t Trash Our Healthcare.”
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