Trash Delays Expected for Thousands of Mid-Southerners During Sanitation Strike

Trash Delays Expected for Thousands of Mid-Southerners During Sanitation Strike

Your trash may not be picked up on time if you're one of thousands of Mid-Southerners depending on Republic Services/Allied Waste.
MEMPHIS, TN (abc24.com) - Your trash may not be picked up on time if you're one of thousands of Mid-Southerners depending on Republic Services/Allied Waste.

Sanitation workers began striking Tuesday morning. It's their second strike this year. The work stoppage is expected to delay trash and recycling pick up.

Union workers went on a three-day strike just a few months ago over safety bonuses. Now they're protesting pay. Meanwhile customers are already watching their garbage pile up.

"We want to take pride in our neighborhood. It's nerve-racking," says Cheree Weatherspoon. She normally enjoys walking down her Hickory Hill street. This week, her stroll is spoiled by the stench of piled up trash. "It's pretty gross."

Weatherspoon is one of almost 40,000 Mid-South customers affected by picketing at Republic Services. "It's just unreal to think that's not getting taken care of," she says.

"We took the stand in February and were out for three days," says Cory Hayes, a member of Teamsters 984. "We went back to work and felt it needed to go again. We're not going back until we get a contract."

Union members say Republic broke the law by cutting drivers' paychecks. "They've been getting paid a certain way for 20 years, then they get check on Friday and it's $200 or $300 dollars less than it has been." Hayes says about 200 drivers are picketing this week "in 24 hour shifts."

What they're striking over extends around the country "all the way into California, Indiana, Georgia and Ohio."

Here in the Mid-South, thousands could see trash delays. Republic services Tennessesee, Mississippi and Arkansas.

Hayes says customers are in "Hickory Hill, Cordova, Chickasaw Garden, Hernando, Olive Branch, Lakeland, Arlington. We just want the community to embrace us while we're at war with this company."

"There's nothing you can do about it," says Weatherspoon. "Just keep piling up your trash."

Republic released a statement asking for customers to be patient.

If your trash is delayed, the company says to leave your garbage can and recycling at your curb and expect to wait an extra day or two for pick up.
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