Republic Services employees to vote on contract proposal

Union workers for trash-hauling company Republic Services will vote today on a new contract after overwhelmingly rejecting the first contract offer in May.

Teamsters Local 631 Secretary-Treasurer Wayne King said the issues involve the pay and benefits package and the company’s policy on absenteeism.

The union represents nearly 1,200 Republic Services employees. Voting will take place from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. at the union hall on Lamb Boulevard.

Republic has extended a “very attractive offer” that includes a 37 percent increase in the workers’ hourly wage and benefits package over the next five years, company president Bob Coyle said. It amounts to $8.93 an hour above the current $24.34 wage and benefits.

Republic’s “no-call, no-show” attendance policy, which allows workers to miss their shift without notifying a supervisor, would be reduced from 10 days to three days a year.

Coyle said the two sides are probably not that far apart from reaching an agreement that the rank-and-file will support. Minor modifications were made to the overall attendance policy, including four personal paid days that are not part of the absentee package.

He said the union held a series of informational meetings with its members in June at Republic’s facilities, so he thinks they understand the contract better.

“Last time, members felt they didn’t have enough information,” Coyle said Thursday. “I’m very optimistic the contract will be approved tomorrow.”

The contract, which expired June 9, has been extended on a rolling 30-day basis, so trash service will not be interrupted for Republic customers.

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