A shot was fired in the air at Republic Services Inc. ‘s Memphis, Tenn., area facility by an employee during a strike that began Jan. 28.

A non-striking worker at the Phoenix-based Republic’s Millington, Tenn., operation said he felt threatened by striking picketers, Republic said in a statement. As a result, he took out a weapon he had with him and fired a shot into the air.

“Firearms are strictly prohibited on our property,” the company said. “As a result, the employee was immediately suspended as we work with the police to fully investigate this incident. Republic has and will continue to take all reasonable steps to protect our employees.”

Neither Republic nor the Washington-based Teamsters, representing the workers, have commented on the issues behind the dispute.