Recycling Workers Organize a Convention in Oakland to Fight for Their Rights
February 15, 2013 by
The recycling workers from various parts of the US decided to organize a convention in Oakland to address the problems that they face while recycling. According to the recycling workers, all the states in the US are aiming to become zero waste zones. But they are not concerned about the working conditions of the recycling workers. Recycling programs have received a good response from the residents, so the waste disposed at the recycling centers in the US has increased over a period of time, but the facilities provided to the recycling workers have not improved.
The Problems Faced by the Recycling Workers
According to a waste coordinator from Sierra Club, Ruth Abbe, the recycling jobs in various US states have increased substantially in the past few years, and they are slowly replacing the safer job options provided by the garbage industry. Abbe stated that recycling centers are negligent towards the needs of their employees, and only the recycling truck drivers are satisfied with their jobs. The workers who have to segregate the waste at the recycling facilities go through a tough time. Abbe stated that the workers want to participate in recycling activities. However, they feel that their jobs at the landfills were better than the ones at the recycling centers.
An Initiative to Promote Eco-Friendly Promotional Items and Recycling Workers’ Rights
In order to address the problems faced by the recycling workers, environmental organizations, recycling workers from various regions, and some community organizations organized a convention in Oakland. During the convention, the workers announced that they are going to launch a campaign across the US, known as the Campaign for Sustainable Recycling.
According to a recycling worker, Josefa Solano, all the recycling workers face similar problems. He stated that the recycling workers are treated in a disrespectful manner. Furthermore, they work in dangerous conditions, and receive awful compensation for their work. So the workers are appalled by the fact that they are treated with disrespect even when they play a crucial role in encouraging the production and use of eco friendly promotional items within the society.
Abbe stated that if the state authorities improve the working conditions and wages of the recycling workers, they will be able to achieve their environmental goals easily. In her opinion, the workers want to be a part of eco-friendly initiatives, and they want their respective regions to be zero waste areas. But they need to support their families as well. So the state authorities need to treat them in a better manner, or else the former will have to find alternative ways to address the issue of waste management in their respective regions.