Union: No More Sanitation Worker Strikes

Union: No More Sanitation Worker Strikes

After two weeks without trash pick up, Republic Services sanitation workers are back in business. The union reached a deal with the company Sunday night.
MEMPHIS, TN (abc24.com) - After two weeks without trash pick up, Republic Services sanitation workers are back in business. The union reached a deal with the company Sunday night.

While they've been on strike the trash has piled up. The union rep says this won't happen again anytime soon.

"I've been in the organization for over 40 years and they're never really easy," said Terry Lovan, President of Teamsters Local Union 984. "People have got to live and be able to reach the American dream, buy a house, send their kids to school and be able to provide for their family; that's what I'm all about, that's what the union is all about - getting a fair slice of the pie."

That's what he was after on behalf of Republic Service workers of the Mid-South. Workers went on strike two weeks ago, and as they stood in the picket lines outside Republic's office, trash piled up in neighborhoods across Memphis and Shelby County.

Lovan says the workers had good reason. "Pension, insurance, hourly wages, compensations, some of the normal things - then we got some new stuff that we felt was worth fighting for."

The new contract was signed Sunday. It's a five year deal with a pay raise and a new 401k plan. Workers were back on the road Monday, and Lovan says residents don't need to worry about another strike.

"There can't be another one soon. We just ratified this contract, it's a five year contract, we don't have to worry about this for five more years, hopefully."

Republic Service's General Manager, Roger Lawrence, declined our request for an interview, but said in a prepared statement, "This is a great outcome for Republic, our customers and most importantly, our employees because it honors their work and years of service."

He continued, “We are pleased that we have reached an agreement. Now, we can spend the next five years working together, growing the business and dependably serving homes and businesses in the Greater Memphis Area.”

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