Waste Management Pays for Trashing Oakland

March 11, 2008: Waste Management continues to pay the price for recklessly locking out 481 Teamsters in Oakland last summer.

The company has been forced to pay $7.9 million to settle legal action taken by the city of Oakland, after Waste Management caused garbage to pile up across the city by locking out Local 70 Teamster for four weeks.

Waste Management will spend $4.86 million to improve trash pickup and recycling services and pay $3 million in refunds and credits to customers who missed pickups during the lockout, when company scabs failed to do the job right.

Management initiated the lockout to try to force through concessions, including healthcare cuts. They miscalculated. The Teamsters mobilized broad labor and community support, and as trash piled up, public sentiment turned against Waste Management.

Oakland mayor Ron Dellums called the lockout a “dress rehearsal” for contract negotiations with Teamsters Local 396 in Los Angeles. Local 396 officials didn’t get the message and failed to prepare the membership or organize public support.

As a result, the company was able to force 500 Waste Management Teamsters in LA into an inferior healthcare plan. If the company’s healthcare contributions do not keep pace with the rising cost of healthcare, Local 396 members will have to make up the difference out of their pocket.

Other wastehaul employers have been able to force hundreds more Local 396 members to accept similar concessions.

The Teamster victory in the Waste Management lockout shows that our union can beat corporate greed when we mobilize rank-and-file power and community support.

We need to put that formula to work for wastehaul Teamsters across North America.

Click here to read the San Francisco Chronicle story “Garbage Firm, Oakland Settle Over Lockout”

Click here to read NBC News story “Trash Company To Give Oakland $5 Million For Garbage Interruption”

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