September 19, 2008: As we go to press in mid-September, over 200 Teamsters in Milwaukee are in their fourth week of a strike at Waste Management. A major issue is WM’s move to bust out of the Teamster Central States Pension Plan and replace it with a 401(k) plan which would be far inferior.
The Teamsters have been solid on the picket line, and management’s scab labor force has not 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.