• Dave-Vossmer-Republic-Services

    Republic Services' general manager Dave Vossmer, says collections are running a day behind.

    The Blade/Jetta Fraser
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  • <p><span class="libobject mceNonEditable">OBJECT<span class="libobjdata mceNonEditable">430b7d73-24ce-432a-8bbb-ed8561e4241e</span></span>A labor dispute in Youngstown prevented some Toledo residents from having their trash picked up on Tuesday.</p> <p>But trash will be collected today, according to officials from Republic Services, the company that also picks up garbage in parts of Wood and Monroe counties.</p> <p>Members of Teamsters Local 20 did not report to work on Tuesday. They said they were supporting their striking counterparts in Youngstown by not working.</p> <p>Dave Vossmer, general manager of Republic Services in the Toledo area, said the company could only cover about 15 of the day&rsquo;s 60 to 65 routes. It wasn&rsquo;t known exactly how many households and businesses were affected. The company said they had prioritized accounts such as schools and hospitals.</p> <div class="factboxright"> <p><strong>The following statement can be attributed to Paul Rasmusson, Republic Services Division Sales Manager:</strong></p> <p><strong></strong>"Trash collection resumed in Toledo today -- one day after Teamsters Local 20 delayed trash pick-up by participating in a sympathy strike for workers in Youngstown.</p> <p>About 30-35 drivers crossed the picket line early today, allowing Republic Services to cover all commercial routes in northwest Ohio and more than half of the residential routes. Helping in the effort are temporary workers and some on loan from Sandusky.</p> <p>All Toledo customers scheduled for pick-up yesterday will have their trash collected today. There will be no pick-up today in Perrysburg Twp. and Monclova Twp.&nbsp;</p> <p>For the remainder of this week, northwest Ohio residents&rsquo; trash collection will be moved back one day. For example: If your normal pick-up day is Thursday, it will be collected instead on Friday.</p> <p>We ask customers to remain patient as Republic Services works diligently to resolve this issue."</p> </div> <p>&ldquo;We are working diligently to cover as many routes as we possibly can with the limited resources,&rdquo; he said.</p> <p>Republic officials said collections will run one day behind the regular schedule for the rest of the week. Earlier, Republic officials said they had contingency plans in place to bring in workers from other areas if members of Teamsters Local 20 didn&rsquo;t return to work.</p> <p>Teamster-represented Republic Services employees in Youngstown have been striking since March 28 over what they said were violations of federal labor law. Republic employees from several other cities have joined the strike in recent days.</p> <p>Workers in Columbus and Cleveland joined the strike Monday and continued on strike Tuesday. Curbside pickup also was reportedly affected in several other cities, including Canton and Elyria.</p> <p>Mr. Vossmer called the work stoppage in Toledo a &ldquo;sympathy strike.&rdquo;</p> <p>Sympathy strikes &mdash; one union striking in support of another union &mdash; are prohibited under the 1947 Taft-Hartley Act that governs labor relations in the United States.</p> <p>But lawyers contacted by The Blade late Tuesday said that without knowing what was in the local collective-bargaining agreement, it was not clear whether the Teamsters Local 20 workers were conducting a sympathy strike.</p> <p>Bill Lichtenwald, president of Local 20 union, did not return messages left by The Blade on Tuesday. A person who answered the phone at the union office said only Mr. Lichtenwald was authorized to comment.</p> <p>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, saying he wanted to &ldquo;correct certain misrepresentations and falsehoods&rdquo; reported by local media.</p> <p>&ldquo;Members of Local 20 working at Republic Services&rsquo; 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,&rdquo; he wrote. &ldquo;Again, Teamsters Local 20&rsquo;s members are not on strike against Republic Services.&rdquo;</p> <p>Mr. Vossmer said four people had been picketing outside Republic Services on Tuesday, but he did not know where they were from.</p> <p>Republic Services took over refuse collection in Toledo from the city-run operation on Aug. 15, 2011, after months of debate.</p> <p>Toledo Mayor Mike Bell pushed the privatization as a way for the city to save money. At the time, Mr. Bell said Toledo stood to save up to $6 million annually.</p> <p>Technically, the change was made through an agreement with Lucas County to contract with a private hauler.</p> <p><span class="libobject mceNonEditable">OBJECT<span class="libobjdata mceNonEditable">494005e8-5163-4d5a-a283-cae46bf0f5a7</span></span>&ldquo;Please be patient,&rdquo; Toledo Deputy Mayor Steve Herwat said when he and Edward Moore, the city&rsquo;s public services director briefed city councilmen about the situation. Both said they had been assured by Republic that trash pickup would resume but that recyclables would wait.</p> <p>Mr. Herwat agreed with Councilman D. Michael Collins, who said the city is caught in the cross-fire because Republic's contract is with Lucas County.</p> <p>&ldquo;We don&rsquo;t have to apologize for what isn&rsquo;t being done because we have&rsquo;t had anything to do with it,&rdquo; Mr. Collins said.</p> <p>Lucas County Administrator Laura Lloyd-Jenkins released a statement pointing out that there was no local dispute between the Teamsters and Republic Services, but she was encouraging dialogue between the two sides.</p> <p>&ldquo;We urge Republic Services and its workers to settle their differences and restore services to affected areas as soon as possible,&rdquo; Ms. Lloyd-Jenkins said.</p> <p>In spite of the work stoppage, Mr. Vossmer agreed that there was no local dispute. In fact, he said negotiations continued Tuesday between the company and the union as they work toward a new contract. The current contract expires May 15.</p> <p>&ldquo;From that standpoint, Local 20 and Republic Services work very well together, but this is something going on in Youngstown that&rsquo;s kind of carrying over,&rdquo; he said.</p> <p>Mr. Vossmer said he did not believe Tuesday&rsquo;s work stoppage would have an impact on local negotiations.</p> <p>Contact Tyrel Linkhorn at:&nbsp;<span style="font-size: 10pt;">tlinkhorn@theblade.com,&nbsp;</span><span style="font-size: 10pt;">or 419-724-6134.</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 10pt;"><br /></span></p>