SAN DIEGO — Hundreds of local sanitation workers with Republic Services are still waiting for pay raises and bonuses to kick in nearly two months after accepting a new labor deal.
In December, 250 union workers walked off the job, demanding better pay and benefits. After a month of trash piling up around areas of San Diego and the South Bay, workers voted on and ratified a final offer from Republic on Jan. 17, and they went back to work the next day.
The union claims raises and bonuses should’ve kicked in 30 days after ratification. Jaime Vasquez, with Teamsters Local 542, says that hasn’t happened.
“We believe now that the company is retaliating against our members for precisely going on strike,” he said.
Vazquez claims Republic has said the new terms won’t take effect until 30 days after receiving the signed contract from the union, which he says was delivered about two weeks ago.
Meanwhile, Vasquez says he’s hearing from frustrated workers daily.
“Everybody has a mortgage to pay, rent to pay, and bills to pay, so definitely, it is very stressful to them,” he said.
FOX 5 received a statement from Republic Services, saying “(we) continue to work with Teamsters Local 542 on the final paperwork related to our employees’ new contract. Once that is reviewed and signed by both parties, the updated terms of the contract will go into effect. We expect that to happen within weeks.”
The union says that’s not good enough.
“We’re going to start looking into our legal department and here, we do now have to go a step further and probably file charges against the company with the National Labor Relations Board.”
Republic also added team members continue to get paid at their previous rate and will receive both back and bonus pay, once the new rate takes effect.