Written by Nathaniel Mannor
On Tuesday, Chula Vista City Council opened the floor for residents to debate the ongoing strike by sanitation workers against Republic Services. Their demands are better pay, benefits, and safer working conditions, including new garbage trucks. Since today marks the 27 consecutive strike day, the City Council may declare a public health crisis due to heaps of garbage piling up over the city. Therefore, both sides want the strike to end; they can’t agree on the terms of surrender.
Chula Vista residents expressed outrage towards the workers. One homeowner exclaimed, “Have a backup plan. If these guys walk off the job, they are fired that day.” That seems like a reasonable solution to the problem. After all, if you or I decided to protest work conditions, we would be terminated immediately because, sadly, we are all replaceable in the open market. Still, the beauty of capitalism is that that fear drives us to work for what we want.
Most City Council members, however, took the opposing stance. Mayor Mary Callisas Salas stated that “To me, it didn’t seem unreasonable that the Teamsters request on their initial raise of $2 an hour and Republic was offering $1.90. That’s a .10 cents difference. For a multi-billion dollar corporation whose profits have increased over 24% over the last year, and a dime difference the first year. I don’t call that an astronomical difference.” Council Members Steve Padilla and Jill Galvez made similar points.
But what these politicians fail to understand is that by raising salaries, companies have to jack up prices to keep their business afloat. And if every corporation follows suit, then inflation is knocking at your door.