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Compton & Long Beach Begin Garbage Strike

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Nearly 500 Teamsters tired of not being able to work for the weekend - because they have to work on some weekends - went on strike early this morning affecting Long Beach, Compton, and Sun Valley.

About a quarter million people will be touched by the strike that is based around two major issues, long hours and respect.

[Waste Management] said the [Teamsters] contract expired in September and that its latest offer included a 22.5% pay increase over five years, a 19% increase in the company's contribution to the workers' pension fund, and a 21% increase in its contribution to the workers' health plan. Workers on strike said pay was not the whole issue and accused the company of bargaining in bad faith.

"It's not about the money, it's about the insult," said Hector Rendon, a Teamsters organizer.

Rendon and other workers said they felt ridiculed and belittled by company officials.

Henry Reyes, a 43-year-old mechanic, said many workers went on strike because their jobs currently do not allow them to spend much time with their families because they are working more than a 40-hour week. He said he works a 10-hour day, beginning at 6 a.m.; every other Saturday, he works for at least five hours. - LA Times

Although it's usually easy to side with a union, we must take our hat off to them for deciding to strike right before a mini heat wave. For the sake of our friends in the CPT and the LBC we hope this strike is resolved ASAP.
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photo by Sonny I. LaVista