Republic Services-Allied Waste drivers back at work

YOUNGSTOWN – Republic Services-Allied Waste drivers went back to work Wednesday, the company said, after honoring co-workers’ strike at the Carbon Limestone Landfill for the last week.

The company said in a statement that all drivers with the Teamsters Local 377 returned to work Wednesday.

Workers at the landfill remain on strike.

“We appreciate the patience of our customers during these past few days. Republic Services /Allied Waste will continue to negotiate in a good faith effort to secure a workable contract agreement,” Doug Dunn, general manager of Allied Waste in Youngstown, said in a written statement.

Multiple calls to union officials have not been returned.

Landfill employees began striking last week, claiming unfair labor practices against the company

Republic Services have accused the union of unfair labor practices and refusing to bargain in good faith.

The company said the union began an “unlawful strike” because the union never made a wage proposal despite the company asking several times during their seven months of negotiations, Republic said in a statement.

The company has asked the National Labor Relations Board to investigate the union for unfair labor practices.

The Teamsters union last Thursday accused Republic of unfair labor practices. The 106-member union said they went on strike because Republic changed working conditions without bargaining with the union. They also said the company refused to provide “pertinent information related to bargaining.”

The strike has caused a delay in garbage pickup in several areas.

Negotiations between the two sides are scheduled for Tuesday.

Republic officials have said the key sticking point in the negotiations is the union’s refusal to withdraw from Central States Pension Fund.

Republic Services-Allied Waste officials said earlier this month that their employees’ Central States Pension fund will be insolvent in 10 years. They tried to encourage employees to take a lump sum payment and re-invest in a 401(k).

Other Teamsters unions went on strike last week in Evansville, Ind., and Urbana, Ill., in support of the Youngstown union.

The Teamsters claim Republic /Allied Waste’s total revenues topped $8.2 billion in 2011 and made $589 million in profit.