Four hundred sanitation employees went on strike beginning December 9, citing unfair employment practices by Republic Services, causing a delay in trash and recycling services for Fullerton and other surrounding cities. Teamsters Local 396, representing the employees, has been in negotiations with Republic since the contract expired September 30. The strike is expected to disrupt waste hauling during the holiday season, impacting both residential communities and businesses. Neither side has said how long negotiations will take.
“We want an end to employee harassment and to the threats of reprisal against employees who participate in union activities,” Union Representative Adan Alvarez said. “We have been working with extreme shortages through the pandemic. We have been working 12 to 14 hours per day. We want a fair living wage. Our work is essential, and we want respect in the workplace,” Alvarez told The Observer.
According to a statement put out by the union, sanitation workers “who are overwhelmingly Black and Latino” wanted to reach a fair agreement with Republic. But, instead of providing workers with fair pay and working hours, and a contract that addresses their concerns, Republic continued with unfair labor practices leaving employees no choice but to strike.”
Local 396 represents over 12,000 employees in various industries across Southern California including in Riverside, San Bernadino, Los Angeles, and Orange County.
Republic Services Media Relations released this statement: “Republic Services is in contract negotiations covering our Teamsters-represented employees in Orange County. Republic respects the rights of our employees to engage in the collective bargaining process, and we continue to negotiate in good faith to achieve fair and competitive labor contracts.”
Teamsters are picketing at both the Republic Services locations at 1131 North Blue Gum Street, Anaheim and 17121 Nichols Lane, Huntington Beach.
On Friday Republic left phone messages with customers advising that trash containers would not be picked up in the City this week.
The City said that street sweeping schedules were not expected to be affected by the delayed waste pickup, but in at least one neighborhood, streets were swept four hours earlier than normal.
Categories: Local News