Waste Management Garbage Haulers Finally Decide To Strike
Wednesday morning (April 21) at 10:30am, garbage hauling members of Teamsters #174 decided to finally haul out their pickets and strike against Waste Management.
The strike affects trash and yard waste pickup for about one million homes in King and Snohomish counties, including the Burien area, which has pickups on Mondays and Tuesdays.
Waste Management presented to the union what it called its “best, last, final offer,” and has so far refused to budge or resume negotiations with the Teamsters.
In early April, more than 1,600 job applicants applied to work as replacement drivers in case of a strike, but Waste Management has not yet announced whether it will use them to pick up trash while union drivers are on the picket lines.
To check the status of garbage pickup or service delays, WM has created a website here: www.wmnorthwest.com/servicedelays.html; as of Wednesday, it implied that it will continue “regular service” for customers with Thursday pickup:
Service Interruption for Wednesday Customers; Regular Service Expected Thursday.
Collection is not being provided for some King and Snohomish county customers today due to a strike announced at 10:30 this morning by Teamsters Local 174.
If your garbage, yard waste or recycling container was not emptied, please keep the uncollected material until your next regular collection day for each container, when the extra material will be collected at no extra charge.
We regret this inconvenience, and appreciate your cooperation.
We expect to resume regular collection on Thursday morning, April 22. However, please check this website for regular updates as negotiations proceed.
Thank you, Waste Management
The Teamsters have also set up a website with news on the strike: www.seattletrashwatch.com, with the following statement:
Waste Management is the most profitable waste company in the U.S., provides trash collection services for King County and souther Snohomish Count. The company, however, is attempting to lock out its employees or force a strike.
Sanitation work is the fifth most dangerous job in the country. Although sanitation workers expose themselves daily to hazardous substances and perform backbreaking physical labor, the company is refusing to provide workers with the same health care protections provided by all other sate companies in our area.
When Waste Management locked out its workers in Oakland, California many residents did not get their trash picked up for one month.
Union garbage collectors who work for Allied Waste reached a tentative agreement in March, so anyone served by that company will not see any service interruptions.
Waste Management serves the Burien area, and, far as we know, the cityfolk here have no contingency plan. On the other hand, the City of Normandy Parkâ€™s leaders had a plan where, if Allied Waste workers went on strike, they would lease equipment back and have their own public works staff go out and collect garbage.
Here’s a video report on the strike from KING5.com:
As this story progresses, we’ll continue posting updates.