RENO, NV (Saturday, May
15, 2004) Today, about 280 Teamsters among Waste Management's
350 northwestern Nevada disposal workers will vote on a new contract.
They will meet at 10:00 a.m. at the Carpenters Union building in Reno
at 1150 Terminal Way.
Terminal might well describe
the status of the contract proposal.
The outlook in the garbage strike has gone from optimism to coin toss
since negotiations closed Thursday.
The company sent its final proposal to the union at mid-day Friday.
As often happens in any negotiation, the party drafting the document
added a few twists.
But local Waste Management general manager Greg Martinelli personally
kinked the agreement into the doubtful category.
Union negotiators were prepared to endorse it until Martinelli altered
the shake-hands deal of Thursday.
After saying essentially "we have this much money to put in play
and no more," the company agreed to allow union members to channel
the available funds in any direction they desire. The overwhelming sentiment
of the members is for the lion's share to go toward retirement.
When Martinelli backed off on Friday by wanting to place limits on the
direction, union negotiators decided to withdraw their endorsement of
the proposal. Contrary to what KRNV TV-4
reported at 11:00 p.m. on Friday evening, May 14, union leaders
will not recommend that the deal be voted down. They will let the members
here for today's Reno Gazette-Journal story.)
A striking Teamster, above, watches an egg-sucking rat from Montana
haul Reno rail trench dirt to the Lockwood Landfill. The Reno
Gazette-Journal on Friday rubbed salt into sanitation worker wounds.
Veteran reporter Susan Voyles wrote that your
tax dollars which will be paying for Reno's
$260 million+ gift to Union Pacific (better known as the downtown
railroad trench) until ex-President Jenna Bush is well
along on writing the memoirs of her eight years in the Oval Office
your money is being
spent to hire non-union drivers from Trans-Systems of Billings,
MT, to haul contaminated dirt from the trench to the Lockwood
it and weep Better yet,
get ahold of Reno City Hall.
If not for the substantial political support which organized labor,
including the Teamsters Union, gave the trench, it would not be
under construction today. For their thanks, the union garbage
workers get rats crossing their lines at the dump.
your local officials know about it. Click
here for complete Reno-Sparks-Washoe County contact information.
Tell 'em the Barbwire
sent you by. (Photo © 2004 Edwward Heston/IBT
The unwinding of the oral
agreement also means that the union will not drop its growing list of
illegal and unfair labor practice charges filed with the National Labor
Relations Board. Evidence of new alleged illegalities will now be brought
forward to federal regulators.
The motivated and militant
workers are part of an increasingly pugnacious international union.
The last three major strikes in northern Nevada have had Teamsters involvement.
Only California-Nevada solidarity from the Teamsters resulted in organized
labor's upset victory in the Hot August Strike at Hot August Nights
in 1996. As a result, the Security, Police and Fire Professionals of
America won Nevada's first-ever security guard union contract at the
Teamsters locally were thus well prepared to participate in the national
strike against UPS in 1997
The Regional Transportation Commission's unionbusting subcontractor
brought in strikebreakers without permission when the Teamsters contract
was up for renewal in 1999. A bus strike was avoided but RTC commissioners
voted over union objections to let the taxpayers fund the unauthorized
strikebreakers anyway. It was only public money, so it was apparently
unimportant to them.
These hard feelings paved the way for the Teamsters great Reno-Sparks
bus strike of 2002. Archives documenting
all of the above may found at NevadaLabor.com.
ON FRIDAY, May 14,
the RGJ confirmed the story of the evacuation of Sierra Pacific
Power's corporate HQ, news of which
we distributed two days earlier. Apparently, a rat driver
didn't know that you're supposed to check for clearance in an
enclosed area. Hoisting a trash compactor, he broke an overhead
fire sprinkler which set off the building's alarms. SPP HQ on
Neil Road houses the nerve center for the region's electrical
grid. And that's not the most egregious of wholesale safety
Sierra Pacific's employees
have done the labor movement proud. We've gotten reports of SPP
service trucks turning around at the sight of a picket line at
the Lockwood Landfill. (Probably members of International Brotherhood
of Electrical Workers Local 1245.)
on the job. The man on the left is not wearing steel-toed boots,
a serious safety violation. But who cares? Apparently not Waste
Management. (Photo © 2004 Tim Harville/IBT
UP THE CITY...
I also suggest that
you do your bit by taking your recycling to Waste Management corporate
headquarters at 100 Vassar Street, one block east of S. Virginia in
Reno. Recycling won't be picked up until the trash backlog is cleared,
and that gets further away every day. So lodge a properly physical protest
by running your recycling to the house that garbage built. Tell 'em
the Barbwire sent you by.
...WITH A LITTLE HELP FROM OUR FRIENDS
THIS JUST IN I ASSUME YOU KNOW THAT WM has AN AUTOMATIC
cost of living adjustment AND GOT OVER 4% THIS YEAR > > (Washoe County
Commissioner) PETE SFERRAZZA.
Dear Pete: I didn't know
it, but I'm sure the Teamsters do. This is just like RTC's deal. Their
subcontractor, Ryder ATE, gets a larger COLA than the workers, who don't
keep up with inflation. I'll post this note on the website strike page.
People need to know this. Thanks for the info.
Keep them cards and letters
Be well. Raise hell.
2004 STRIKE PAGE
GARBAGE STRIKE NEWS LINKS AND UPDATES
12, 2004 GARBAGE STRIKE UPDATE
14, 2004, GARBAGE STRIKE UPDATE
WORKERS STRIKE AGAINST SBC