Teamster contracts firm union foothold in the
Atlanta, GA— In a victory
for waste workers across the South, more than 450 Teamsters at
Allied Waste/BFI in Georgia, Alabama, and Florida won first contracts
that include pay raises, a new wage structure and increased job
The Teamsters secured agreements
after a year and a half of negotiations. "We never gave up,"
said Tyra Johnson, a container delivery driver at the hauling
station in Atlanta. "We stuck together until we won."
The contracts, which include
wage increases, a more equitable and just wage structure, and
grievance procedures to improve job security, cover seven different
units in Atlanta, Pensacola and Fort Walton Beach, Florida, and
Brewton and Mobile, Alabama. Each unit approved the contract by
a near unanimous vote.
"I want to congratulate
these workers for standing strong during the past 18 months,"
said Teamsters general president Jim Hoffa. "These contracts
are a testament to their courage and determination and a major
step in our battle to raise living standards for waste workers
across the South."
The Teamsters have also won other
significant victories in the South in a wide array of industries,
including transit, the public sector, law enforcement and package
In 2003, Johnson and other workers
were joined by U.S. Rep. John Lewis (D-GA), the Rev. Joseph Lowery
and Mayor Shirley Franklin in a march to the state Capitol in
Atlanta to commemorate International Human Rights Day and demand
justice for Allied Waste/BFI workers.
Teamster waste workers across
the country also stood in solidarity with the Southern workers,
picketing unfair labor practices at Allied Waste's Southern locations
and demonstrating an active network of support.