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NWRA's workforce-related advocacy issues include Safety, Employee Shortage, and Joint Employer.



Safety is a vital priority for the waste and recycling industry –our focus is to significantly improve our safety performance and reduce injuries, accidents and fatalities on the job.  As part of its 2016-2018 strategic plan, NWRA is committed to moving the needle on industry safety by driving measurable improvement that saves lives and prevents injuries. Our long-term objective is to eliminate industry fatalities with a three-year objective of reducing fatalities by 50%, not only for NWRA members but across all sectors of the industry at large. 

Advocacy is a major facet of our effort to improve safety in the industry.  Distracted driving is one of the largest threats to worker safety.  We are increasing our efforts to minimize distracted driving  by taking part in coalitions like “Together for Safer Roads” and At&T’s “It Can Wait” Campaign.  We also continue to expand Slow Down to Get Around efforts. To learn more about the wide breadth of efforts we are putting in place, visit our safety page. 


Employee Shortage
Employee Shortage and NLRB Ruling

The waste and recycling industry has experienced labor shortages over the past several years. Despite rising wages, this issue is expected to continue as companies struggle to find qualified drivers and mechanics. By 2022, there will be 49,300 new jobs for collection drivers and 71,500 new jobs for diesel mechanics jobs.

The NWRA is dedicated to helping the industry recruit and train new workers. Medium and small sized companies often lack in house Human Resources Departments. The NWRA has created its own Recruitment Toolkit to help combat this issue. The toolkit assists in recruiting qualified workers, marketing open positions, and interviewing potential candidates. For more information on the toolkit, please email


Joint Employer
Joint Employer- NLRB Ruling

In 2015, the National Labor and Relations Board (NLRB) issued a ruling that companies can be held responsible for labor violations committed by their contractors. In the decision, the NLRB found that two or more entities are joint employers of a single workforce if they are both employers within the meaning of the common law and if they share or co-determine those matters governing the essential terms and conditions of employment. NWRA supports HR 3459, reported out of the Committee on Education and the Workforce, and S. 2015, which would narrow the NLRB’s recent expanded definition of what constitutes a joint employer.