OCTOBER 18, 2021
Santa Ana CA, Hundreds of workers employed at Waste Management throughout Orange County have won significant wage and pension, and healthcare increases after ratifying a groundbreaking contract that places Teamster sanitation workers on a solid path into the middle class.
Sanitation workers are among the essential heroes that have worked hard throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, up to 14 hours a day in order to ensure that communities are kept clean and safe. The pandemic has also drastically exposed the impact that low wages have had on the transportation industry. Sanitation companies throughout the United States including Waste Management are facing a shortage of drivers and are realizing that in order to retain talent, they must increase wages and benefits for workers. Workers are seizing on this opportunity to gain contract improvements that will allow them to provide a better life for themselves and their families.
This tremendous victory was accomplished thanks to the courage and dedication of Teamster sanitation workers at Waste Management who stood shoulder to shoulder in the bargaining process. Contract highlights include drivers receiving an immediate $2.23 raise in pay, double-time pay after 12 hours of service, and full maintenance of healthcare benefits with no increased cost to workers.
Teamsters Local 396 currently represents over 3,000 sanitation workers throughout Southern California and is among the largest Teamster sanitation Locals in the U.S. This group of nearly 300 sanitation workers serves communities throughout Orange County. Ron Herrera, Secretary-Treasurer of Teamsters Local 396 stated, “The courage demonstrated by this group of essential workers who organized to win this contract is admirable. Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, the press has written about the importance of essential workers, but Corporate America still insisted on low wages. Our members stood strong and won major raises that will continue to lift standards in an industry that has historically exploited Latino immigrant workers. Our members have truly demonstrated the grit and tenacity with which Teamster power is built."