(Suzanne Sausville/WBZ NewsRadio)
MARSHFIELD, Mass. (WBZ NewsRadio) — About two dozen sanitation workers walked off the job 47 days ago, demanding Republic Services in Marshfield negotiate their first contract with Teamsters Local 25.
The striking workers were joined Monday by members of Sen. Bernie Sanders' presidential campaign, including Mike MacKenzie.
"These workers are in a place where they need the help of workers all over the country," he told WBZ NewsRadio's Suzanne Sausville. "These people are working as hard as they possibly can in a dangerous occupation. They should be given a decent wage, a livable wage."
Sanders himself put out a statement saying he supports the workers, and called on Republic Services to negotiate a fair contract.
The strikers say they're in it for the long haul, camped out on Route 139 with tents and grills.
Driver Bernard Mullen said the workers just want what other facilities in Quincy and Revere have: a union contract with the Teamsters.
"They have a better retirement plan, they have better healthcare, and their living wage is a considerable amount higher than the guys here," he said.
But Mullen said the company is unwilling to budge.
"They are offering us basically nothing, and they're not willing to give us a living wage," Mullen said.
In a statement, Republic Services said Teamsters Local 25 "continues to misrepresent the facts in its public statements," and wrote:
We take pride in providing our Marshfield employees with outstanding compensation and benefit packages. Without any union involvement, Marshfield drivers received a highly competitive wage and benefit package that averaged nearly $100,000 in 2018. In fact, at the upper end of the wage scale, one Marshfield employee on the picket line earned over $100,000 in wages alone – and that does not even include the significant value of a benefits package including quality medical, dental, vision, AD&D and disability insurance, a company-matched 401(k) retirement plan and generous paid time off.
Republic Services said they "remain hopeful" that the union will return to the bargaining table and negotiate a contract.