Garbage strike rages on; Girard adjusts schedule

WARREN – While Republic Services is reporting that more than 100 Teamsters have returned to work in what is becoming a nationwide work stoppage, none were in the Youngstown-Warren area.

In all, more than 600 trash haulers and other members of Teamsters in Ohio remained off the job Wednesday as a “sympathy strike” continued to gain momentum for the 23 striking Carbon Limestone landfill workers in Poland.

In the meantime, trash continues to pile up along Mahoning Valley routes while Republic Services / Allied Waste attempts to fill the vacant posts with management and replacement workers.

The mayor of one community is working to figure out a way to reduce the piles of rubbish. In a statement released Wednesday, Girard Mayor James Melfi advised Girard residents to put their trash out Sunday for pickup on Monday.

“I’ve been in contact with Allied Waste. We needed a date for it to be picked up. They’ve informed me that the schedule is cleared, and they will do pickups (in Girard) on Monday.”

Melfi described the situation as “acceptable at this time.”

“Obviously, we would like to see things worked out as quickly as possible. We would like to see everyone get back to the bargaining table. However, my primary responsibility lies with the city of Girard. We want to make sure the city remains as clean as possible through the course of this strike.”

Republic spokesman Carlo LoParo said residents in need of pickups should call 800-437-1123.

The 23 striking workers walked off the job March 27 claiming unfair labor practices. Both sides have filed reciprocating charges with the National Labor Relations Board.

Teamsters Local 377 has been working without a contract since November. The major sticking point in contract talks is employee pensions. The next bargaining session is scheduled for April 23 and 24.

Tribune Chronicle reporter Ashley Newman contributed to this story.