Republic Services to pay nearly $300,000 in settlement with California Teamsters

Dive Brief:

  • An arbitrator has ruled Republic Services must pay $293,262.73 in back pay to 21 truck drivers working in Orange, California, to settle a grievance filed by the workers’ union, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters.
  • The union’s Local 952 alleged that the hauler had subcontracted Ecology Transportation Services for over 50% of Republic’s work hauling materials from a transfer station to a landfill in violation of their collective bargaining agreement, according to a union official.
  • Though Teamsters regularly file grievances with the NLRB over Republic’s labor practices, this is the first settlement in which the union has secured back pay for multiple waste drivers since 2022.

Dive Insight:

Republic Services has nine months to comply with the settlement amount, according to a release from the union last week. The hauler declined to comment on the case.

Teamsters in a separate but nearby chapter previously went on strike against Republic in 2021 over contract disputes. The action ended after about a week.

The Teamsters last announced the conclusion of a separate multidriver back pay case in 2022. That case began five years prior, when Teamsters employed by Republic in Elyria, Ohio, alleged that the company had “unilaterally” changed workers’ incentive rates for collection routes. The case resulted in Republic paying out about $220,000 to 41 employees, according to a union official. 

“Republic just decided to make up their own rules and it came back to bite them,” Chuck Stiles, director of the Teamsters’ Solid Waste & Recycling Division, said in an interview last week. “It was the same thing, they just refused to go by the contract.”

Local 952 is based in Orange and represents about 9,000 workers for companies like Iron Mountain, Albertson’s, UPS and Disneyland. In a statement, Eric Jimenez, secretary-treasurer of Local 952, said the union would bring Republic to court if it didn’t pay the settlement in the next nine months.

“This settlement sends a strong message to Republic and other greedy corporations that when you violate a Teamster contract, we will fight back, and we will win,” Jimenez said.