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Talking Union

By Josh Eidelson

Over the past month, Teamsters in five cities refused work in solidarity with locked-out sanitation workers in Evansville, Indiana. The Evansville labor dispute is the second in three months to feature sympathy strikes against Republic Services. This rare tactic represents a major escalation in the Teamsters’ struggle with the company, and it’s poised to intensify this week.

As I reported for Working In These Times, Republic Services/ Allied Waste, the second-largest solid waste company in the United States, locked 79 workers out of their jobs six weeks ago. (Under U.S. labor law, when union contracts expire, companies can lock workers out, and either shut down production or bring in replacement workers to do their jobs.) Republic told workers they’d be locked out unless they accepted a “last, best and final“ offer that would eliminate their pensions and replace them with 401(k)s.

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About Darin Sullivan (1967 Articles)
President of the Fire Brigade Employees’ Union and a professional firefighter with more than 25 years’ experience. Father of two daughters, he lives and works on the NSW South Coast, Australia. He is a strong advocate for firefighters and emergency service workers with an interest in mental health issues and caring for those around him. He is a Director on the NSW Fire Brigades Death and Disability Super Fund and works with charities including ‘The Movember Foundation’. As a leader and activist he has long been active in the campaign for action on climate change. Now a Station Commander in the fire and rescue service in NSW and has decades of experience fighting fires, both rural and urban. He is passionate about highlighting the impact climate change is having on fire preparedness and fire behaviour in Australia, and the risks associated with inaction on climate change. Darin is also a spokesperson for the Australian Climate Media Centre.
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