Republic Services Inc. has settled its labor dispute with the Teamsters at two Alabama facilities.

Workers went on strike March 22 at Republic's Mobile facility over a health care contract issue. Brewton workers did not strike but were part of the negotiations. Republic said in a news release the principal problem was a dispute over a waiver of certain new health insurance surcharges. Republic bargainers mistakenly agreed to this waiver, which the company said is against Republic policy.

Republic said because of that initial agreement it would honor the waiver in Brewton and the mutually agreed upon resolution regarding Mobile. In other cases, Republic’s policy on surcharges remains in place, the company said.

According to Catharine Ellingsen, senior vice president, human resources, for Republic, the company’s objective with the latest decision “was to restore the high level of respect previously shared by the company and the employees’ bargaining representative.  I believe today we have made significant progress toward that goal.”

The Teamsters, with Local 991 representing Mobile, said the facility’s 24 striking workers were subsequently supported by more than 400 Teamsters workers honoring picket lines in Columbus, Ohio; Buffalo, N.Y.; Seattle; and Seattle-area cities of Bellevue, Lynnwood and Kent. Those employees are back working, said Peg Mulloy, media relations manager for Republic, in an e-mail.