IAM Union Members at U.S. Virgin Islands Waste Management Vote to Authorize Strike

CHARLOTTE AMALIE, U.S. Virgin Islands, July 3, 2024 –  Members of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM) Local 2725 have overwhelmingly voted in favor of authorizing a strike at V.I. Waste Management Authority. This decision is a direct response to stalled negotiations and unsatisfactory contract proposals that have persisted since the last contract expired in 2019 with no raises and no back pay.

“After careful consideration and with a unified voice, our members have decided that the offer on the table from V.I. Waste Management Authority is not acceptable,” said IAM Southern Territory General Vice President Craig Martin. “We stand together in seeking a fair resolution that adequately rewards the hard work and dedication of our members, who are instrumental in maintaining the cleanliness and health standards of the islands.”

“Our members receive wholehearted support from the IAM and our labor allies on the island, all of whom are prepared to mobilize if a contract fails to address our members’ priorities,” continued Martin.

The IAM represents approximately 87 waste management workers in St. Croix, St. Thomas, and St. John. 

“The concerns of IAM members revolve around the offer from V.I. Waste Management Authority, which falls short of addressing the critical issue of wage increases across the board,” said IAM Southern Territory Special Representative John Vigueras. “Workers’ welfare is not just a perk; it’s a necessity for operational success, and it’s high time the government and management recognize that fact.”

“Our members should not have to take on second or third jobs to support their families. They are the ones keeping paradise clean, and they deserve fair wages and their overdue contract,” said Vigueras.

Over the years, the IAM has urged the U.S. Virgin Islands government to prioritize workers and bargain in good faith.

The union’s advocacy efforts have brought the issue to the attention of all USVI senators, with the majority expressing support for IAM members in achieving a contract that ensures fair wages, benefits, and work rules.

The IAM has garnered support from other labor unions in the islands, which are also experiencing similar issues with delayed contract negotiations.

According to the U.S. Virgin Islands Code, employees of the V.I. Waste Management Authority are classified as Class II bargaining units. In the event of a strike, Class II employees must provide a 72-hour notice. The decision on a potential strike date will be made by the membership.


The International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers is one of North America’s largest and most diverse industrial trade unions, representing approximately 600,000 active and retired members in the aerospace, defense, airlines, railroad, transit, healthcare, automotive, and other industries.

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