Look For The Union Label

According to the Blade - Unionized Republic Services employees, who handle Toledo's garbage collection, are striking today over what the company says are issues tied to pension concerns.

In a news release sent today, a spokesman from the refuse collection company said Republic has been working for nearly a year and a half with workers to find an alternative to its Central States Pension Fund. The company said it was surprised by the union's action.

The workers are represented by Teamsters Local 20. Union president Bill Lichtenwald wasn't immediately available for comment. A person who answered the phone at the union office said no one other than Mr. Lichtenwald was authorized to comment.

Read more at http://www.toledoblade.com/local/2013/04/16/Toledo-garbage-workers-on-st...

We should have gone to full privatization when we had the chance.

There may be a good reason Republic wants to get out of the Central States Pension Fund which the Teamsters have effed up completely. See following story-
Today, the Taxpayers Protection Alliance announced that over the weekend more than 300 Teamsters representing Locals 247 and 332 in Detroit, Pontiac and Flint, Michigan voted to leave the financially troubled Central States Pension Fund.

David Williams, President of The Taxpayers Protection Alliance said, "We applaud the actions of the local rank and file Teamsters who voted themselves out of Central States – a pension fund that is most known for being $14 billion in debt, losing $6 billion in the stock market in three months, and investing in a Russian bank that went bankrupt."

Added Williams, "After the International Brotherhood of Teamsters made these financial blunders with Central States, Teamsters President Jimmy Hoffa asked Congress for a bailout in 2008 to pay for these mistakes."

For current Teamster members in Central States, Williams warned that their benefits may be cut. "No wonder the Michigan Teamsters left Central States. From asking for bailouts to cutting retiree benefits, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters has demonstrated that it will do anything and everything but change its ways to keep Central States afloat."

The International Brotherhood of Teamsters, however, may be running out of time to save Central States. The fund's own Executive Director, Thomas Nyhan, testified to Congress in 2010, that without a bailout or legislative action, the fund will be insolvent in the next 10 to 15 years.

No votes yet

Collective bargaining is good. Maybe the execs will learn to treat their workers humanely.

You spelled Euros wrong.

MikeyA

What execs? the taxpayers?

"What execs?" you ask... the ones at Republic who are now the middlemen. Privatization creates middlemen between taxpayers and the politicians. Sure, it's still the taxpayers' money, but now there are middlemen with a profit motive instead of just a municipality. Don't you people always praising privatization know this?

There is nothing wrong at Republic that caused the strike. From my understanding they decided to strike to show solidarity with union members of Youngstown.

Unless you can shed some new light your post is absurd.

MikeyA

The union is picketing the Republic corporate entity as a whole, not just one division. That 's why the Youngstown picket line has been extended to Toledo.

Republic is a large corporation with divisions all over. Toledo is just one of many. And, although our local division of Republic has local management, it still ultimately answers to the same top corporate execs that all its other divisions answer to. That is why it is truthful to say there are now corporate executives as middlemen. It used to be the city, the union, and the tax payers. If the city broke even on trash pickup, so be it. But, now there is a corporate entity in the middle that needs profit.

"Union president Bill Lichtenwald wasn't immediately available for comment."

Too funny! Why would he talk to you? JohnyD would have a better chance of an interview.

Statements made are the opinion of the writer who is exercising his first amendment right to freedom of speech. Freedom of speech in the United States is protected by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution and are generally permitted.

Even funnier, ignorant Wolfman thinks the line about Lichtenwald refers to me. It refers to the union head not being available available for a comment when the Blade called. I don't need to have a comment from Lichtenwald to know what he would say, it would be the same BS you spout on here about worker's rights and pension guarantees. He would dance around the fact that other Teamster locals have run screaming from their own Central States Pension Fund in the last few years.
And you're right about Johny having a better chance at getting him. The members of Local 20 have no business striking over a beef the Youngstown local has, there is no picket line here for them to honor.

Any statement I make is the opinion of me exercising my first amendment right to freedom of speech. Freedom of speech in the United States is protected by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution and is generally permitted.

Statements made are the opinion of the writer who is exercising his first amendment right to freedom of speech. Freedom of speech in the United States is protected by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution and are generally permitted.

...."Insured by the F.D.I.C." sign in your bank? That means your bank account is insured by the Federal government in case your bank ever loses the money in your bank accounts.

There is a similar Federal bailout for private pension funds in case the pension administrators ever blow (or steal) the money in your pension account. And a pension is not the same as Social Security. A pension is paid in addition to Social Security (and usually starts paying earlier).

The comparison between a bailout for a company (such as a UAW automobile company) and insurance for bank deposits and pensions is difficult to make.

First, banks pay into FDIC. So saying that is a "bailout" is like saying State Farm is providing a "bailout" for you when you are in a car accident.

Second, pensions consist of money invested by individuals. It's difficult to draw a parallel between pensions and companies who are bailed out because of poor sales and/or business practices. As an aside, the only private pension plans that the Federal government is interested in saving are related to unions.

" ...the only private pension plans that the Federal government is interested in saving are related to unions."

Unfortunately, that appears to be true.

The Central States fiasco shows why unions need to go. They're just not effective, even with their own member's money.

MikeyA

How about the University of Toledo's faculty union--where its sole full-time administrator is being accused of stealing $50,000 of the members' dues. This has got to be devastating to the union members--who have not received a raise in 2 years.

Also, a professor at UT can choose not to join the union, but he/she must still pay dues. Situations like this make unions hard to tolerate.

Sylvania Township residents choose (and privately pay for) their own garbage pick-up company. I've noticed that there was no disruption in Republic's service in the Township. I've seen its trucks around the neighborhood.

Isn't it interesting that the drivers are so supportive of their union brothers that they are disrupting service in Toledo, but they appear to know enough not to tick-off the paying customers in Sylvania Township.

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