SIGN THE PETITION: Tell Republic Services to pay the $19 million owed to workers and taxpayers

Republic Services


Republic Services, the second largest waste and recycling company in the world, owes over $19 million to workers and the public. Republic needs to hear from us that it’s time for them to pay their debt.

Republic, which sorts San Jose’s recyclables at the Newby Island Landfill, has been found to have been underpaying its sorters since 2011, racking up a bill for back wages of $4.8 million. The City of San Jose fines violators for three times the amount of back wages, meaning that Republic owes local taxpayers $14.4 million. Republic has been ordered to pay and to date, has refused.

Republic must put $4.8 million back in the pockets of the 193 low wage workers who have earned it. And Republic must make the community whole for the damage done by forcing those workers to live in poverty. At a time the City has been cutting millions of dollars from police, fire, parks, libraries, and many other essential services, it’s time for Republic to pay back taxpayers.

Since 2011, the people who work to sort the various recycling materials from the rest of the garbage have been paid as much as $5 to nearly $9 dollars an hour less than they were supposed to be making. When Republic signed a contract with the City of San Jose, the company agreed to pay its workers according to the City’s “living wage” policy, $15.98-$19.06 per hour. After receiving a complaint from an employee, City officials found workers were being paid only a minimum wage of about $8 to $10 an hour. The City ordered Republic in December 2013 to stop breaking the law. Instead, the company has dragged out the case for months, claiming that it’s immune from this policy. During the time that Republic has spent trying to get out of paying, its debt has nearly doubled, from a total of $10.4 million when the City first issued the restitution order, to $19.2 million one year later.

Let’s put an end to this game of cat and mouse.

Sponsored by

To: Republic Services
From: [Your Name]

We the undersigned call upon you immediately to come into compliance with the City of San Jose’s order of restitution under the living wage policy. Starting now and going forward, you must pay your workers the wages that they are entitled to under the law. You must also correct the violations of the past. You owe approximately $4.8 million to your workers and $14.4 million to the City of San Jose and its taxpayers. You have been running from this debt for a year. The time has come, Republic. Pay your debt to society.