Teamsters picket ends in Urbana
URBANA — The picket at Allied Waste Services in Urbana has ended, but the company did not allow union employees to return to work Monday, a Teamsters official said.
Tim Donovan, secretary-treasurer of Teamsters Local 26, said members who honored an out-of-state picket last week reported to work about 3 a.m. Monday. But Allied did not allow them to work and continued to use replacement workers.
Marty Grant, the general manager of Allied Waste in Urbana, said the union didn't notify the company in advance that members would return Monday. Replacement workers had already been instructed to report.
Grant said the union's business agent and the company's corporate counsel were expected to discuss today when Teamsters might be back at work.
"We're not locking them out at all," he said.
Donovan said he intends to file an unfair labor practice charge and a grievance about Teamster members not being paid for Monday.
Grant said Allied — which is part of Republic Services — did not make solid-waste collections in the Champaign-Urbana area on Thursday as a result of the work stoppage.
Allied began using replacement workers about 8 a.m. Friday — roughly five hours after the Friday shift would usually begin, he said.
The replacement workers — who came from other Republic Services operations, including some in Ohio and Minnesota — worked Friday, Saturday and Monday, he said.
All routes were following their normal schedule Monday, and the company expects to be caught up with collections later this week, he said.
"I would say by the end of the week, we'll be completely caught up," he said.
When the work stoppage occurred Thursday, collections were already running behind, due to a snow day on March 25, he said.
Grant said Allied Waste has about 26 union workers locally, "six or seven" of whom continued to work during the picket, while 19 or so did not.
He said the company brought in about 15 replacement drivers and was never told by the union precisely why workers didn't report last week.
"All we were told is it had something to do with Youngstown, Ohio. We were not given details. They didn't tell us anything," he said.
Last Thursday, Youngstown, Ohio-based Local 377 set up a picket at Allied Waste in Urbana in connection with that local's strike against Republic Services. Local 377 represents employees at Republic's Carbon Limestone landfill near Youngstown.
Members of Local 26 who work at Allied Waste in Urbana honored that picket Thursday through Saturday. Donovan said there was no picket Monday morning.
The Youngstown local also placed a picket at Allied Waste operations in Evansville, Ind., last week. Donovan said when that picket ended, Evansville Teamsters members went back to work.
As for contract negotiations between Local 26 and Allied, Donovan said the next meeting date has been pushed from April 9 to April 11. The local union's contract expired last June.