Teamsters Local 396

(ORANGE, Calif.) — NEWS: Over 1,100 sanitation workers in Orange County, CA are bargaining for a new contract for residential, commercial, and government waste removal services. Over the last 40 years, Teamsters Local 396 has bargained contracts that initially fought back against the poverty jobs created during the initial privatization and contracting out of public sanitation services.

But after several strikes, Unionized workers in the Orange County sanitation industry have won Union contracts with wage increases that are now knocking on the door of middle-class life.

Sanitation workers nationwide have seen significant improvements in their standard of living. This is a result of both solid wage increases in Union contracts, but mostly the abundance of available overtime to virtually all workers. This is due to a major shortage of commercial truck drivers.

“A lot of drivers take on a Sanitation job at some point, but most of them don’t stick around. Not everyone can handle hard manual labor 12+ hours a day and six days a week,” said Javier Bonales, Vice President of Local 396 and a 20-year veteran sanitation worker.

Teamsters Local 396 Secretary-Treasurer and rising labor star, Ron Herrera is pushing for contract settlements that move sanitation workers further along the road to the middle class. Herrera stated, “Sanitation workers are some of the hardest working and most reliable workers around. While some work 60-70 hours a week, they do so with great pride and appreciation since overtime pay has allowed them to buy homes, send their children to college, and more. It is time to reward the workers and their families.”

Background: Wall Street is bullish on waste

The waste industry is highly profitable. Two major companies, Waste Management (NYSE: WM) and Republic Services (NYSE: RSG) have seen their stock values skyrocket over the last 5 years including major gains in 2021. Contract bargaining covers sanitation workers in Orange County cities such as Santa Ana, Garden Grove, Anaheim, Huntington Beach, Orange, and Seal Beach. If a contract is not agreed signed soon, Orange County could see a disruption in waste hauling by the end of the year.


Adan Alvarez, (323) 404-5939

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