The Teamsters, Washington, has announced that drivers and helpers for Shred-it Inc., a document destruction company based in Oakville, Ontario, have gone on strike at the company’s Trenton, New Jersey, facility to protest unfair working conditions. The Teamsters also are demanding the company meet with Teamsters Local 469 and bargain a union contract in good faith.
"This company continues to trample on the workers' rights," says Cassiba Joseph, a Shred-it driver who helped launch and lead the unionization effort. "We decided that enough was enough. We felt we had no choice but to strike."
On April 21, Shred-it workers voted to join Local 469 in Hazlet, New Jersey. Since electing the Teamsters as their bargaining representative, workers have been working on a union contract that protects workers' rights and secures fair wages. Meanwhile, the union says the company has stalled at the bargaining table in hopes that the workers will lose faith in the union. However, officials from Stericycle, Bannockburn Illinois, which owns Shred-it, say they have been working with the Teamsters since the workers unionized.
“For approximately eight months, we have been actively engaged in good faith negotiations with Teamsters Local 469 on a first time collective bargaining agreement at Stericycle's Trenton, NJ facility,” Stericycle said in a statement to Recycling Today. “Local 469 is currently in possession of proposals from Stericycle for consideration as part of the overall collective bargaining process. We remain committed to bargaining in good faith and are hopeful that representatives from Teamsters Local 469 will do the same.”
The company says it brought in additional facility workers and drivers to continue operating the facility during the strike.
Last fall, Ohio workers at Local 377 and Local 20 went on strike.