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Latest News - June 2012

June 4, 2012
Allied Waste, union remain at contracts stalemate Next meeting slated for June 18
Source: Evansville Courier & Press
By: Arek Sarkissian II

Allied Waste and Teamsters Local 215 remained at odds Monday, with the next scheduled meeting two weeks away.

Meanwhile, 79 workers remain locked out from Allied’s Evansville operations, with the company’s retirement plan remaining the biggest issue.

“But that definitely is not the only issue,” said Local 215 President Chuck Whobrey. “It’s one of the larger ones, but it isn’t the only one.”

Allied Waste Manager Mark McKune said changing the retirement plan from a pension to a 401(k) is the only major sticking point.

On May 8, Allied locked out the workers after contract negotiations failed. The Allied contract expired in April and was extended three weeks in hopes of coming to an agreement.

McKune said Allied wanted to change the retirement plan because the pension fund is dying. The amount of money going into the fund is far less than those being paid, he said.

Whobrey, who is listed as a pension trustee, said those reports are false.

“All of that could not be farther from the truth,” Whobrey said, adding the contract proposal is designed to augment Allied’s earnings by $3 million in five years.

McKune said the Evansville issue is identical to one at an Allied facility in Danville, Ill., which led to workers there voting to end representation by the Teamsters and sign a contract that included the 401(k).

He said Danville workers learned the union there would not let them vote on a contract. That led to a petition ending the representation, McKune said.

Whobrey said he was not aware of the Danville issue.

Evansville workers were offered support by Teamsters at a California Allied facility with picket lines and protests there, although according to a news release, workers there are not on strike.

The 79 Evansville workers are being paid by the Teamsters and through unemployment. The next meeting between the Teamsters and Allied is scheduled for June 18.



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