COVINA, CA - Southern California sanitation companies are putting profit over workers by denying its essential workers hazard pay, even as COVID-19 infections rise throughout Southern California.
Southern California sanitation companies including Waste Management, Republic Services, Calmet Services, WARE Disposal, CR&R, Park Disposal, and AAA Disposal have all denied their workers hazard pay throughout the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic that has claimed the lives of over 115,000 U.S. residents. Sanitation workers are part of the essential workforce that have been required to work during the pandemic in order to keep communities clean and safe. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics currently ranks sanitation as the 5th most dangerous job in the U.S., Sanitation workers operate heavy equipment and are often exposed to hazardous materials.
From 2019 to 2020, profit margins in the sanitation industry have increased significantly, especially with Waste Management and Republic Services, which are the first and second-largest waste collection and processing companies in the United States. Despite this increase in profit margins, these companies have refused to provide its U.S. workforce with any hazard pay.
Teamsters Local 396 represents over 11,000 workers, of whom nearly 3,000 are Southern California sanitation workers. Teamsters Local 396 Secretary Treasurer, Ron Herrera stated, "Before COVID-19, sanitation was already the fifth most dangerous job in the U.S. Now, workers are facing even more risks due to this ongoing pandemic. It is unacceptable that these companies are treating their essential workers that create their company’s profits as disposable. Teamster sanitation workers are on the front lines, working hard to protect our environment and keeping our communities clean. As our region deals with increased COVID-19 infections, Teamsters Local 396 will use all of the resources at its disposal including working with local and state officials to ensure that our sanitation members are treated with the dignity and respect they deserve.”