Sanitation workers call truce without contract

McDONOUGH — Sanitation workers on strike since last week have raised the white flag and gone back to work.

However, a compromise between Republic Services and its sanitation workers has not been reached.

“We care about our communities,” said driver Huey Vample. “That’s why we’re going back to work — for now — because we really want to clean up our neighborhoods. We are hoping Republic will get back to the bargaining table so we can reach an agreement that respects and values us as employees.”

The sanitation workers from Republic Services were on strike this week saying the company allegedly violated federal labor law by putting drivers in what they called unsafe situations.

Republic workers in McDonough, who are members of Teamsters Local 728 in Atlanta, have suspended their strike and returned to work Monday as a show of good faith to the company.

Republic Services and Allied Waste’s total revenues were more than $8.1 billion in 2012, with profits of $572 million.

The company’s primary shareholder is Microsoft chairman Bill Gates, the second-richest person in the world.

Gates owns approximately $2.4 billion worth of stock, or 25 percent of the total worth of the company. Michael Larsen, Gates’ investment manager, sits on Republic’s board of directors.