The International Alliance of Waste Pickers is a union of waste picker organizations representing more than 460,000 workers across 34 countries
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Written by Felipe Rosario, Asociación de Recicladores del EcoParque Rafey

December 08, 2014

Translated by Deia de Brito

Facebook. 11/09/2014

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On November 8th, during a protest organized by the waste pickers of the Rafey landfill in Santiago (Dominican Republic), Lavo Investment — the Italian company subcontracted to manage the landfill — decided to use violence against the waste pickers who work there. The waste pickers of Rafey were demanding that Lavo Investment pay them for collecting and sorting the plastic and cardboard recyclables at fair prices, or that they allow the waste pickers to sell the materials to small buyers. In response to these demands, the company’s director of security called three bullies that arrived carrying guns, which they starting firing at the waste pickers. Six waste pickers were injured in a show of the company’s authority over the workers. This is the 5th protest the waste pickers have organized in the 10 months (as of November) since the company has been managing the landfill. The company responded to the first protests by lowering the price of recyclables to 40 and 60 percent of what other companies were paying. Watch the video.