Local News

Fullerton trash pickup on hold as workers strike

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.

Sanitation workers picketing outside Republic Services facility. Photo courtesy of Adan Alvarez.

“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.


14 replies »

  1. Why isn’t the City of Fullerton commenting the way Huntington Beach is? We need information. My condo dumpsters are overflowing.

  2. Practice empathy and imagine how you would feel in their position. I hope they get what they are asking.

  3. So since we are not getting our trash picked up on schedule, do we get a break, or a credit in our bill…???
    I’m all for respecting the workers, and do believe they deserve better pay. What is the city doing about getting our trash picked up?

  4. If they don’t pick up our trash, then who will pick up their’s? So we all lose in this strike! And of course, they want more money…not just respect!

  5. We didn’t have this problem when Tony Soprano was our waste management consultant.

    • When Vito was talkin about ‘greasing the union’ who knew that’s what he meant!

  6. Republic is one of the most abusive employers in this industry and these essential workers deserve the respect and pay that they are seeking.
    Zero is a shill for the corporatists

  7. The problem is always the Union who are middle men in the process. Unions twist and exaggerate the situation to emotionally manipulate those they ‘represent’ to get more money for themselves rather than the people who are really doing the work. While the sanitation workers go without wages it’ll be the well fed union negotiating fatter linings for their wallets and pillows. Unions had a purpose back in the day, but now they’re leeches and only hurt those they represent or anyone who is not them.

    All I can say is hang in there to all and hope the Unions like these will one day be dissolved so that money could be better distributed to the workers who disserve it and provide the community with such fine services.

    • Yeah, cause corporate leadership isn’t greedy[.] Republic reported a 14% increase in revenue over last years, bought back $621m in shares, but God forbid pay and treat ALL your employees fairly.

  8. Just give them the money. They dont make enough. We already have trash issues at our center.

  9. pretty sure a lot of people would like to take over their jobs since it pays an awful lot

  10. Basically, they want more money. But when they strike, they get no money. So how do they win?

    • It worked for them last time. They are also asking for better work conditions and more equalitarian pay for all workers.