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Republic Services/Allied Waste says expect delay in normal service due to sympathy strike

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YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio - More than 100,000 customers here in the Mahoning Valley should prepare to see a delay in their normal trash pickup.

In a statement issued on Monday by Republic Services/Allied Waste, General Manager Doug Dunn said, "We appreciate the patience of our customers during this time as members of Teamsters Local 377 have gone on a sympathy strike. We want to assure all of our customers that while their normal service will be delayed, we are working to ensure that their waste and recycling will be picked up as soon as possible."

It was just a few weeks ago, March 27th, when a 23 landfill employees went on strike at Republic Services/Allied Waste.

The work stoppage led to a delay in trash pickup when trash haulers stood behind landfill employees, refusing to cross the picket line.

But eventually drivers and haulers went back to work and were able to get curbside trash pick-up back on schedule.

But now drivers, haulers, mechanics, and other members of Teamsters Local 377 are taking a stand again, in the form of a sympathy strike and are joining landfill employees in the work stoppage.

Ralph Sam Cook, representing Teamsters Local 377 says, "The landfill workers are out on an unfair labor practice strike. So they extended their picket line, and we are continuing negotiations with the company for the landfill residential and commercial units."

According to the union, the unfair labor practice allegation is under investigation by the National Labor Relations Board. Representatives from Allied are not responding to the accusation.

Along with management, the union is also asking for the patience of customers and admits customers should expect a disruption in service.

However, a few replacement workers are on the job, driving trucks and reportedly hauling waste.

Cook, representing the Teamsters said, "I think the customers got to understand what the union is dealing with when it comes to this company. Hopefully we'll get these issues resolved, and we'll be back out there taking care of business."

Talks between management and the union are scheduled again for April 23rd and 24th.

Healthcare, wages and pension issues are on the table, but the union emphasizes this is not an economic strike, but a strike alleging unfair labor practice.

The union says they plan to stand their ground and are in it for the long haul.

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