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Hundreds Of Orange County Sanitation Workers Are On Strike

A blue garbage truck with a red star logo on a street. Beside the logo is the text "Republic Services."
A Republic Services garbage truck.
(Flickr Creative Commons License/Jason Lawrence)
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Trash pickups across Orange County are delayed for the second day in a row as hundreds of sanitation workers go on strike for a fair contract.

Members of Teamsters Local 396, who work for Republic Services in Anaheim and Huntington Beach, contend the company has engaged in unfair labor practices.

Those allegations include harassment and retaliation against workers who've filed grievances or spoken with journalists, according to Ron Herrera, a union representative.

“Look, you have workers that worked through COVID. They were called heroes,” he said. “And when the company had an opportunity to show their appreciation and respect, they showed it with zero.”

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An Expired Contract

The union's contract with Republic Services expired at the end of September. After negotiations stalled, workers voted on Nov. 23 to authorize a strike.

Katherine Kelleher is a long-time employee of the Anaheim facility. She says she knows the strike is going to have a big impact on customers and she hopes they can be patient.

“The company has the power to change this,” she said. “The company has the power to ratify our contract fairly and to put us back to work so we can service our customers during this time, during the holidays.”

Republic Services issued a statement saying it will "continue to negotiate in good faith to achieve fair and competitive labor contracts."

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The company also said:

Republic Services is in ongoing contract negotiations covering our Teamsters-represented employees in Orange County. We continue to bargain in good faith and are looking forward to next week’s scheduled bargaining sessions with the union. The company is working hard to resume normal service as quickly as possible, and we thank our customers for their patience and understanding.

The work stoppage not only includes trash pickups at Disneyland Resort, but also Garden Grove, Santa Ana, Yorba Linda and Seal Beach.

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