Forced overtime, pensions and benefits at WM leads to strike

A group of people standing waving red Unifor flags


STONEY CREEK—Unifor members working at Waste Management Canada Corp. (WM) began strike action on May 2, 2024. Major issues with the employer include forced overtime and lack of work-life-balance.

“Our dedicated members handle the tough job of ensuring commercial businesses have their garbage and recycling collected and removed in a safety-sensitive environment,” said Local 4268 President Debbie Montgomery.

“They should be able to go to work without being forced to work extra hours outside their shifts. The company continues to show a blatant disregard for these workers.”

The 60 Unifor members at Local 4268 work as WM drivers, mechanics, and technicians, servicing commercial businesses in Stoney Creek, Hamilton, Niagara, Brantford, and surrounding regions. They do not provide residential service.

When members have to leave at the end of their scheduled shifts to pick up children from child care or school or to care for aging parents, in some cases, the company has asked to see proof, including child custody agreements, which is a blatant invasion of privacy.

The members are also fighting for improved benefits and pensions. Currently, the company pays 50 cents on the dollar and refuses to make any improvements. In the midst of an affordability crisis, these workers deserve to not have to worry about their retirement.

“WM is a company that feels it needs to exercise the iron fist in order to get the job done at whatever cost necessary,” she said.

“And it’s our members who are paying the price – whether it’s losing time with their loved ones or being afraid they will randomly face disciplinary action. Strike action is our members saying, ‘We’re fed up. Show us some respect.’”