Business, Free News Articles, Water and Wastes

Negotiations for sanitation workers In Orange County make progress as the threat of strike looms

ORANGE, Calif. -- Over 1,100 sanitation workers in Orange County, CA are bargaining for a new contract for residential, commercial, and government waste removal services. Over the last 40 years, Teamsters Local 396 has bargained contracts that initially fought back against the poverty jobs created during the initial privatization and contracting out of public sanitation services.

But after several strikes, Unionized workers in the Orange County sanitation industry have won Union contracts with wage increases that are now knocking on the door of middle-class life.

Sanitation workers nationwide have seen significant improvements in their standard of living. This is a result of both solid wage increases in Union contracts, but mostly the abundance of available overtime to virtually all workers. This is due to a major shortage of commercial truck drivers.

"A lot of drivers take on a Sanitation job at some point, but most of them don't stick around. Not everyone can handle hard manual labor 12+ hours a day and six days a week," said Javier Bonales, Vice President of Local 396 and a 20-year veteran sanitation worker.

Teamsters Local 396 Secretary-Treasurer and rising labor star, Ron Herrera is pushing for contract settlements that move sanitation workers further along the road to the middle class. Herrera stated, "Sanitation workers are some of the hardest working and most reliable workers around. While some work 60-70 hours a week, they do so with great pride and appreciation since overtime pay has allowed them to buy homes, send their children to college, and more. It is time to reward the workers and their families."

Background: Wall Street is bullish on waste

The waste industry is highly profitable. Two major companies, Waste Management (NYSE: WM) and Republic Services (NYSE: RSG) have seen their stock values skyrocket over the last 5 years including major gains in 2021. Contract bargaining covers sanitation workers in Orange County cities such as Santa Ana, Garden Grove, Anaheim, Huntington Beach, Orange, and Seal Beach. If a contract is not agreed signed soon, Orange County could see a disruption in waste hauling by the end of the year.


Adan Alvarez, (323) 404-5939

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Business, Free News Articles, Government, Water and Wastes

Teamsters Local 396 Builds Momentum in Contract Campaign to Raise Wages and Working Conditions for Over 2,700 Sanitation Workers in Orange County

SANTA ANA, Calif. -- On Tuesday, August 17, 2021, the City of Santa Ana stood up for working people by rejecting the city staff recommendation to replace its unionized waste hauler with a non-union hauler with a track record of union busting, air pollution and paying near poverty wages, Teamsters Local 396 said today. Santa Ana residents are currently serviced by Waste Management, a unionized waste hauler that has serviced the city for over 30 years.

"The Santa Ana open bid process for residential waste services was important to protect consumer rates, hard-earned well-paid jobs, and opening up historically closed bidding processes," said Ron Herrera, Secretary - Treasurer of Teamsters Local 396.

Herrera added, "We are ecstatic Athens Services, a non-union company with a history of worker intimidation and exploitation will NOT be spreading its greedy tentacles in Santa Ana."

This is a huge victory in the first skirmish of the Teamsters Local 396 begins contract bargaining for roughly 2,700 haulers in LA and Orange County. With average wages around $28 an hour and full benefits, waste work is one of the few industries that has lifted workers out of poverty.

"Through organizing, strikes, and bargaining we went from over worked, disrespected and under paid immigrant workers to becoming over worked better paid homeowners who have lifted ourselves out of poverty, can pay college tuition for our kids, and take family vacations. Now we want to join the middle class," said Javier Bonales, Teamsters 396, Vice President and longtime OC waste hauler.

Teamsters Local 396 represents UPS and Sanitation workers in Southern California. The Local Union also serves Members in other miscellaneous industries such as logistics, recycling, and feed delivery services.

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Contact: Adan Alvarez, (323) 404-5939

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This news story was published by the Neotrope® News Network - all rights reserved.