WARREN - Contract talks last week between management at Republic Services / Allied Waste in Youngstown and Teamsters Local 377 left pension issues still unsettled, a spokesman for Allied Waste said Wednesday.
Both sides have said pension issues are the main sticking point in the talks. The Nov. 19 negotiation session had been scheduled before the contract expired Nov. 1. Teamsters at the trash hauler have remained on the job.
Republic Services / Allied Waste is a nationwide company. Locally, the contract affects crews that provide service to areas of Niles, Liberty, Girard, Howland, Lordstown, Campbell, Struthers, Lowellville and other nearby communities. The contract would apply to about 120 workers who provide service to commercial, residential, landfill workers and mechanics.
The company is proposing moving employees out of the Central States Southeast and Southwest Areas Pension Fund and replacing it with a 401(k) program.
Republic Services / Allied Waste General Manager Douglas Dunn said the existing pension plan is listed by the U.S. Department of the Treasury as in "critical status" that is not expected to be solvent beyond 2023.
But union negotiators aren't satisfied with that argument and said management likewise is unable to guarantee that a 401(k) investment will be there in 2023.
Now management officials are saying last week's announced closure of Hostess Brands Inc., which also had participated in the Central States and Southeast and Southwest Areas Pension Fund, will further negatively impact the pension fund's future.
A statement released last week by Allied management officials said Hostess owes the fund $11.8 million.