Republic Services Group (RSG) is navigating the current environment, by giving with one hand, and taking with the other. The company recently announced it is funding a “Committed to Serve” initiative, to support both employees and the local communities Republic serves.
RSG’s CEO, Donald W. Slager said, “We’re launching our $20 million ‘Committed to Serve’ initiative to recognize our 28,000 frontline employees in the field serving our customers every day, while also helping to support our small business customers across the nation. This initiative is targeted economic stimulus at the local level, designed to benefit our small business customers as well as our employees, our company and our country.”
Under the initiative RSG will provide a weekly meal for all frontline employees, weekly dinner for frontline employees and their families, and bi-weekly $100 gift cards to all frontline employees. The program is currently scheduled to run for two months. This will provide $400 in gift cards, plus meals, to all frontline Republic employees.
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In addition to providing support for its employees, Republic has pledged to purchase all meals for employees from local, small businesses. To provide additional support to the local communities it serves, Republic Services will donate $3 million to the Republic Services Charitable Foundation to fund its long-term nonprofit partners that operate locally and serve local communities and small businesses.
But, even as the company is providing additional employee support, it is facing a downturn in demand as many businesses in areas it serves have been ordered closed. The result is less waste and recycling demand, and a need to streamline its workforce in those areas.
Republic Services is negotiating deals with local employee unions, and has offered to provide employees continued work, but with fewer hours in areas hardest hit by business closures. In a statement released by the company, “Republic Services offered a guaranteed 30 hours of work for everyone who did not have any regular work to do, as well as continuation of current benefits at least through May 2.”
While some local unions have agreed to the offer, others, such as the Las Vegas union, rejected the company’s offer. As a result, some employees in Las Vegas have been laid off. Republic Services has said a rejection of their offer triggered specific collective bargaining rules that required the layoffs.
Like many stocks, Republic Services has sold off during the current crisis, but has rebounded from the lows. The stock currently has a PE of just over 23, and pays a dividend just over 2%. The company has moved its earnings conference call from April 30th, when it was originally scheduled, to May 5th, after the close.
Steven Adams’s personal position in Republic Services Group: none.
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