Workers employed at Waste Management in Los Angeles and Orange County won significant wage, pension, and healthcare increases after ratifying groundbreaking contracts that continue Teamsters Local 396’s record of increased wages and benefits in the Southern California Sanitation industry.
Sanitation workers at Waste Management are among the essential heroes who have worked hard throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. This group of workers serves major cities throughout Los Angeles and Orange County, including Los Angeles, Long Beach, Manhattan Beach, Irvine, Costa Mesa, and Mission Viejo.
This tremendous victory was won thanks to the courage and dedication of Teamster sanitation workers at Waste Management, who stood shoulder to shoulder in solidarity throughout the bargaining process. “It was a tough fight, but we stood strong as Teamsters do. I am proud of this agreement that will continue to lift standards for future generations,” said Terry Pouncy, a Commercial Driver at Waste Management, Long Beach. Jorge Gomez, a Roll-Off Driver at Waste Management Irvine, stated, “As a veteran Teamster sanitation worker who has served on several bargaining committees, I can truly say that this is the best contract we have won to date. Blood, sweat, and tears went into this fight, but today, we hold our heads up proudly with this victory.”
Some key highlights of this contract include the largest wage increases ever achieved with Teamster employers in the Southern California sanitation industry, double-time pay after 12 hours of service, significant increases into the Western Conference of Teamsters Pension, and improved healthcare benefits with major savings for workers. Chuck Stiles, Director of the Teamsters Waste Division, stated, “Sanitation workers are the unsung heroes who worked hard on the frontlines during the COVID-19 pandemic, ensuring that communities across the country are kept clean and safe. This is an industry-changing agreement that improves the quality of life of these workers and ensures that they are treated like the essential heroes they are.”
Teamsters Local 396 currently represents over 3,000 sanitation workers throughout Southern California. It is the largest Teamster Sanitation Local in the U.S. Our Sanitation members serve communities throughout Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, and San Bernardino Counties. Secretary-Treasurer of Teamsters Local 396 Victor Mineros stated, “Our members at Waste Management in Los Angeles and Orange County stood strong and won major wage and benefit increases that will continue to lift standards in an industry that has historically exploited a workforce composed primarily of immigrants and people of color. Our members have truly demonstrated the courage and determination that defines what it means to be a Teamster.”