Toledo garbage workers strikes, back to work on Wednesday


A private company that does trash collection in Toledo says it will resume trash pickup on Wednesday.

Most of the routes serviced by Toledo Republic Services were not picked up today because members of Teamsters Local 20 did not report to work.

The workers, members of Teamsters Local 20, were supporting striking counterparts in Youngstown by not working.

Dave Vossmer, general manager of Toledo Republic Services, said the company was only able to cover about 15 of the day’s 60 to 65 routes. It wasn't known exactly how many households and businesses were affected. The company said they had prioritized accounts such as schools and hospitals.

Republic officials said Tuesday evening that trash pick-up would resume Wednesday, with collections running one day behind the regular schedule for the rest of the week. Earlier Tuesday, Republic officials said they had contingency plans in place to bring in workers from other areas if members of Teamsters Local 20 didn't return to work. It wasn't clear Tuesday evening whether the work stoppage among members of Local 20 would continue.

Teamster-represented Republic Services workers in Youngstown have been striking since March 28 over what they said were violations of federal labor law.

Bill Lichtenwald, president of Local 20, did not return messages left by The Blade on Tuesday. A person who answered the phone at the union office said no one other than Mr. Lichtenwald was authorized to comment.

However, in a letter addressed to Lucas County Commissioner Pete Gerken that was also faxed to The Blade, Mr. Lichtenwald objected to calling the action in Toledo a strike.

“Members of Local 20 working at Republic Services’ local area site have invoked their rights under the existing collective bargaining agreement and under the National Labor Relations Act to honor and otherwise not cross lawful primary picket lines,” he wrote. “Again, Teamsters Local 20’s members are not on strike against Republic Services.”