Solid Waste Division: Campaign to Clean Up Contracts Nationwide

Local 396’s Secretary-Treasurer Ron Herrera (standing) conducts Republic Services meeting and 315 President Alberto Ruiz (seated) adds local 315’s update.

Local 315 Secretary-Treasurer Don E. Garcia, President Alberto Ruiz, Trustee Carlos Borba, Business Agents Dustin Baumbach, and David Rodriguez attended the Solid Waste Division meeting at the Teamsters’ Unity Conference 2018. Principal officers and Union representatives, including International Brotherhood of Teamsters’ General Secretary-Treasurer Ken Hall, gathered in Las Vegas from across the nation for updates, strategies, and collaborating on pressing issues within the division. Contract negotiations with Republic Services has made troubling waves throughout the country and impacted locals are facing major disagreements with the Company.

All locals working to reach an agreement with Republic is either at impasse, already going through strike sanctions, or hasn’t reached a deal. Proposals by the Company has not covered contract language and wages adequate enough for most locals. For example, Republic Teamsters in Youngstown, Ohio are paid by the load and have no overtime language in their contract.  Conversely, the Northern California Teamsters had past victories in gaining good contracts over the years. Working with locals across the country, Joint Council 7 leaders hope their foundation paves the way for the rest of the Solid Waste Division to follow suit.

Under great leadership of Bob Morales, first Director of the Solid Waste, Recycling and Related Industries Division, Teamsters gained strong language, including good grievance procedure language, and foundation. Under Morales’ direction, good wages and pension were two major accomplishments in the Solid Waste contract with help of Chuck Mack, the former International Brotherhood of Teamsters Vice President, Local 315 former President and Trustee Carlos Borba, and Larry Dias, former Local 70 President. Borba utilized his form of great leadership in language and structure over the years with the contract, and as a current international representative, has been making rounds in other parts of the country to set up structure similar to Northern California’s. Teamsters Local 350 President Larry Daughtry’s day to day work helps build continual growth for Joint Council 7 Teamsters in the division.

Through the years, the infrastructure of the Division was organized and strengthened by International Vice President Rome Aloise and Joint Council 7. Joint Council 7 Political Director Doug Bloch has continued the build political partnerships on a nationwide level to raise standards everywhere. In Southern California, efforts by Teamsters Local 396 and Joint Council 42 to elevate workers was successful in collaboration with Los Angeles’ campaign Don’t Waste L.A., a community initiative to increase LA’s recycling and composting improving a dangerous industry.

Lastly, but most importantly, Ron Herrera, Local 396’s Secretary-Treasurer and Local 728 Vice President Chuck Stiles, currently lead the younger leaders in the Solid Waste Division. Stiles, who couldn’t make it to the meeting,  and Daughtry have been aggressive in fighting for Ohio Teamsters through numerous obstacles.  Local 350 Secretary-Treasurer John Bouchard, Local 396 Business Agent Victor Mineros, Local 315 Secretary-Treasurer Don E. Garcia, and Local 315 President Alberto Ruiz carry the division’s torch in advancing the union’s power. Bouchard and Ruiz utilize relationships with elected officials through DRIVE, Teamsters’ bipartisan initiative for grassroots, pro-labor political action, contributions and communications.