LA Waste Strike Continues

October 23, 2007: As the strike of nearly 500 Waste Management Teamsters continues in Los Angeles, the International Union has called a meeting to discuss coordinated action and the national extension of picket lines.

Local 396 members voted three times to reject contract offers that would reduce their health benefits and force Teamsters to pay out-of-pocket each month for their benefits, as the cost of healthcare rises.

These concessions were defeated by a rank-and-file movement that mobilized Local 396 members to Vote No. The strike began on Friday, Oct. 19.

The International Union's Solid Waste division will hold a meeting at Local 396 on Thursday, Oct 25. Representatives from Teamster locals that represent Waste Management employees will discuss plans for coordinated action, including national extension of picket lines.

This is a positive step toward mobilizing for victory in Los Angeles, which has the largest concentration of wastehaul Teamsters in the country.

Local 396 stewards and members are also calling on the union to use tactics successfully employed by Teamster locals in Oakland and Seattle to win strong contracts.

In both cities, our union waged public campaigns that united the community against Waste Management for attacking workers' rights and health benefits and putting public services at risk.

These campaigns included TV and radio ads, rallies, and press conferences with community, religious and political leaders.

Oakland Mayor Ron Dellums called the struggle in his city a "dress rehearsal" for Los Angeles. Now it's show-time.

More than 1,000 wastehaul Teamsters are also in contract negotiations in LA. The strike at Waste Management will set the bar for what can be won at other waste companies in Los Angeles and across the country.

United, we'll win.

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