Hayes said the company's comments regarding the strike were outrageous.
"Republic told the media that the strike was unnecessary because it had the checks waiting for us if we had gone to work on Monday morning," Hayes said. "We were picketing 20 feet away from their office for three days – why didn't the managers just come outside and give us our checks? They forced us into the streets and kept the people in this community from getting their garbage picked up because they didn't want to walk 20 feet? "
Joseph Wyatt, another Republic worker, also spoke at yesterday's press conference.
"Republic/Allied Waste violated the law and needs to rectify the outstanding violations immediately," Wyatt said. "We're asking them to stop breaking the law, and to treat us like human beings – employees – instead of slaves."Republic's attacks on its workers have increased in the last year. In May 2012, the company locked out 80 members of Teamsters Local 215 in Evansville, Ind. for six weeks. Out-of-town replacement drivers damaged people's homes, vehicles and even power lines during the lockout. Last March, the company walked away from a ratified contract with Teamsters Local 991 in Mobile, Ala. Local 991 members were forced to strike to protest the company's illegal behavior and finally secure a contract. Workers in four other cities across the country honored their picket lines before the company came to its senses a little over a week later. During the lockout in Evansville, workers in five cities honored picket lines before the lockout was ended. Republic/Allied Waste's total revenues were more than $8.2 billion in 2011, with profits of more than $589 million. Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates is the primary shareholder at Republic Services. Gates, whose personal assets total $66 billion, owns approximately $2.4 billion worth of Republic stock, or 25 percent of the total worth of the company. Gates' investment officer Michael Larson sits on the Republic Services board of directors. Sanitation work is the fourth-most dangerous job in America. In May 2012, the same month Republic locked out its workers in Evansville, the company approved a death and disability benefit for its CEO valued at more than $23 million. SOURCE Teamsters Local Union 984
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