UPDATE: Garbage Strike Averted For Now

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UPDATE 4/1/10: Our news partners at The Seattle Times update us that a 1am agreement Thursday morning has averted a garbage strike, at least for now.

Here’s what The Times said:

Jackie Lang, the spokeswoman for Waste Management, said early Thursday morning that the company and garbage collectors had agreed at about 1 a.m. to continue negotiating and, in the meantime, to avoid a work stoppage.

That means people should continue putting out their trash on scheduled days, because it’s work as usual for garbage collectors.

PREVIOUSLY (3/31/10):

Our news partners at The Seattle Times report that union negotiators reached a tentative agreement with Allied Waste, one of the two garbage collection companies whose labor agreements were set to expire at midnight Wednesday, March 31.

Unfortunately, Allied doesn’t serve Burien, which means that, pending a last-second deal, a garbage strike will begin at midnight here.

However, there will be no garbage strike in Normandy Park, since Allied is the provider there.

According to The Times:

Allied Waste Services, which provides trash collection for about 123,000 homes in King and Snohomish counties, confirmed Wednesday evening that a labor pact had been reached.

But the region’s biggest garbage company, Waste Management, which services more than 1 million customers, said its negotiations with 500 union garbage haulers have stalled, increasing the possibility of a garbage-collection strike for its customers across much of King and Snohomish counties starting Thursday.

Waste Management serves the Burien area, and, far as we know, the cityfolk here have no contingency plan. Normandy Park’s leaders had a plan where they would lease equipment back from Allied Waste, and, if necessary, have their own public works staff go out and collect garbage.

According to an email we received from Katherine Salinas of Waste Management:

“Waste Management collects from Burien residential customer on Mondays and Tuesdays. Therefore, we do not have any residential collection scheduled for Thursday or Friday.

Next week, we encourage customers to check our website www.wmnorthwest.com/burien for collection schedule updates.”

Also, according to WM’s strike-related portion of their website, here’s what Burien residents should do with their garbage:

Please put your garbage, recyclables and yardwaste at the curb as usual. If we do not pick up your material on Thursday up to twice as much material will be collected on your next regularly scheduled collection day for each container*.

We will provide priority collection for locations where public health is a high priority, such hospitals, nursing homes, day care facilities and grocery stores.

Please check our website daily for updates and changes as negotiations proceed.

Thank you for your patience and understanding as we work towards resolution of this situation.

WM also says that their contingency plan is to bring in replacement workers to drive the routes of striking haulers. The company also placed help wanted ads for replacement workers in area newspapers and Craigslist on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Read the full story here.

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