Teamsters, Jobs with Justice Protest Bill Gates and Republic Services
ATLANTA, Nov. 26, 2012
Sanitation Workers Ask Bill Gates, Primary Owner of Republic/Allied Waste, to
Stop Destroying Their Retirement Security
ATLANTA, Nov. 26, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- On Nov. 21, members of the
Teamsters Union and Atlanta Jobs with Justice protested Bill Gates at Georgia
Tech, where the billionaire addressed more than one thousand students and
faculty. The protesters called attention to Republic Services' environmental
destruction and mistreatment of employees. Gates is the primary owner of
Republic Services, the second largest waste company in North America.
Two protesters displaying a banner that read "Republic/Allied: Don't Trash Our
Communities" were forcefully removed from the event after attempting to ask
Gates why he refuses to stop his attack on workers and their retirement
security. Republic/Allied Waste workers in Atlanta are represented by
Teamsters Local 728 in Atlanta, Ga.
"Sanitation work is the fourth most dangerous job in the country. These
workers literally put their lives on the line every day to protect the public
health," said Eric Robertson, Business Agent for Local 728. "It's outrageous
that Bill Gates says he supports public health programs, and yet he's the
primary owner of a company that locks out its workers and creates public
health crises in American communities."
Other protesters at the event distributed "Billy Bucks" that contained the
contained the following slogans:
o"Starvation wages? Melinda and I have a charity for that!"
o"I gave the CEO a $23 million death benefit; the workers get to die."
o"Your Trash is Green to Me"
o"Environmental destruction? We have a charity for that, too!"
Republic/Allied Waste earns exorbitant profits through operating greenhouse
gas-emitting landfills, is profiting from fracking operations on its landfill
property in Ohio, and operates a Missouri landfill that is currently on fire
next to a nuclear waste site.
In May, the company approved a $23 million death/disability benefit for its
CEO Don Slager while 80 of its employees in Evansville, Ind. were locked out
because they refused to let the company destroy their retirement.
Republic/Allied Waste's total revenues were more than $8.2 billion in 2011. It
earned $149.2 million in 2nd quarter net profits in 2012, up from $46.5
million in the same period of 2011, an increase of more than 220 percent. This
resulted in a 7 percent quarterly dividend for shareholders such as Bill
Gates. As the primary owner of the company, Gates owns more than $2.4 billion
worth of stock, or about 25 percent of the total worth of the company.
Founded in 1903, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters represents 1.4
million hardworking men and women throughout the United States, Canada and
Puerto Rico. Visit www.teamster.org for more information. Follow us on Twitter
@Teamsters and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/teamsters.
SOURCE Teamsters Local Union 728
Contact: Eric Robertson, +1-404-319-6619
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