Teamsters at the Fall River DPW handle 540,000 pounds of trash a week. But with the landfill running out of room, something had to give.
Some politicians wanted to privatize trash collection—a move that would have eliminated 30 good Teamster jobs.
That’s when Local 251 members at the Fall River DPW took action.
“We all went to the City Council meetings to make the case that we can provide better service to the community for a lower cost than privatizing,” said Kenny Travis, a Local 251 shop steward in Fall River.
“A private company is in it for the money. They want the trash because they can make money off the recycling. We said, ‘Let us take care of the recycling and keep that money in Fall River’,” Travis said.
Teamster members filled the seats at City Council meetings and made their case. They parked the Local 251 trucks outside City Hall. That got everyone’s attention.
Instead of privatizing and eliminating good union jobs, the City Council voted to build a Transfer Station to process the trash and recycling themselves.
Garbage has been cut from 540,000 pounds a week to 340,000 pounds a week. The other 200,000 pounds a week is being recycled—and the recycling income is going to the Town, not a private company.
“There was a buzz in the city that Teamsters were taking action,” Travis said. “I’m proud to be a Teamster and this is exactly why.”
“We saved good jobs. We saved the Town money. And with more recycling we’re even saving the environment. It’s a win for everybody. There was a buzz in the city that Teamsters were taking action. I’m proud to be a Teamster and this is exactly why.”
Kenny Travis, Fall River Steward
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