ORANGE COUNTY, Calif. - More than 400 sanitation workers employed by Republic Services facilities in Anaheim and Huntington Beach went on strike threatening trash services in several Orange County cities.
Roughly 420 sanitation workers represented by Teamsters Local 396 went on strike Thursday morning after accusing management of unfair labor practices during bargaining for a fair contract, including "making unilateral changes without bargaining and threatening reprisals among against employees who participate in union activity," according to a statement from the union.
"We’re on strike because of unfair labor practice. Republics Services is not bargaining in good faith. All these workers want is a fair contract and to get back to work," said union spokesperson Victor Mineros.
Teamsters Local 396’s contracts with Republic Services expired on Sept. 30, and members voted to authorize a strike on Nov. 23.
The union represents workers in Santa Ana, Garden Grove, Anaheim, Huntington Beach and Seal Beach.
"This is truly going to last as long as it needs to last. It’s a five year contract and this is our opportunity to speak on it and correct the things that need to be corrected," said Republic Services driver Eddie Chavez. "Everything we need to get fixed needs to get fixed now, otherwise we are stuck with it for the next five years."
In a statement, a spokesperson for the company said "Republic respects the rights of our employees to engage in the collective bargaining process and we continue to negotiate in good faith to achieve fair and competitive labor contracts."
A tweet from the City of Huntington Beach Friday morning stated "Due to a labor dispute between Republic Services and their labor force, HB may experience service delays for trash service collection."
The City of Anaheim tweeted "Anaheim waste collection is being impacted by a labor issue at contractor Republic Services. While we are tracking this disruption closely, we are unsure how long service will be impacted. For now, set and leave out containers for two days for possible collection."
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