Sanitation workers are raising a stink for the second time in four months.
They are frustrated over working without a contract since last year. They also want better wages and they want to make sure their pensions are protected. Right now their pension fund is under a plan that's almost bankrupt. "You got to realize a garbage man is just as important as a doctor. We haul the germs and trash away from people's houses to make sure the environment is safe. It's an importance that comes with this job, it's a nasty job, but somebody has to do it."
Robert Walker, a worker from Allied Waste tells us the workers are "on strike indefinitely". He says the talks with Republic Waste have broken down.
Roger Lawrence, GM, Republic Services in Memphis made this statement:
For the second time in four months, members of Teamsters 984 have decided to go on strike. We appreciate the patience of our customers at this time and assure them that we will meet their waste and recycling needs. This morning, we are focusing on our most critical customers including hospitals and schools. We continue to negotiate in good faith with the Teamsters and provide our employees with a good salary as our drivers' average salary is $58,000 a year. Because we value the work of our employees, we also want them to have a retirement that they can count on. Currently, the Memphis employees belong to the Central States Pension Fund, whose own Executive Director, Thomas Nyhan, told the Wall Street Journal earlier this month that 'There is a reasonable possibility that this plan could run out of money in about a dozen years.' We believe our employees deserve better and will do everything legally possible to help them leave Central States.