Garbage Haulers Throw Out Picket Signs, Return To Work Friday

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Striking garbage workers decided Thursday to throw out their picket signs (at least for now) and return to their jobs as early as Friday morning, but since Burien’s trash pickup days are Mondays and Tuesdays no garbage had piled up here yet.

The Teamsters #174 union says that there’s been no resolution to the disagreement with Waste Management, but the garbage haulers are heading back to work to “prevent a public health crisis and to minimize service disruptions.”

Reports are that around 700 workers will be back on the job, but union leaders are not ruling out another strike.

A spokesman for the Teamsters says that plans are to re-open negotiations with Waste Management on Monday, April 26, to “see if they’re serious about fulfilling their legal obligations they have.”

Waste Management released a statement, saying that the new bargaining session will include a federal mediator. The company claims it delivered a letter to the union on Thursday, renewing an offer made last week to negotiate.

The company says their final offer to each driver was an annual pay and benefits package worth $110,000.

Here’s a video report from our friends at

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13 Responses to “Garbage Haulers Throw Out Picket Signs, Return To Work Friday”
  1. Samantha says:

    Smart… since they have twice as many replacements ready to take over. Sorry guys… not a good idea to strike in a bad economy, no matter how bad you’re being treated. Hang in there!

    • Ivan Weiss says:

      The purpose of the strike was to get WM back to the table. It succeeded brilliantly, and now the company has to fly all the scabs back to where they came from. The Teamsters had no choice but to do this, as the company was insisting on cutbacks in wages and benefits that would not be subject to bargaining.

      as for “replacements,” do you really think you would get better garbage service from lower-paid scabs? Because if you do, I have an oceanfront lot in Kansas to sell you.

      • Tony says:

        Ivan, you’re a bit out of touch. Waste Management never left the table; they just couldn’t make it to one meeting. And they haven’t changed their offer at all (yet.) The “strike” was because the union wants Waste Management to agree to the SAME contract the other two garbage companies did, not because it’s a bad offer.

        Besides, you reveal yourself as a union shill when you ask who would give “better garbage service”. Anyone can give decent garbage service – don’t hit anything and empty the can! Or was that left-over garbage you put in your post? 😉

        • Ivan Weiss says:

          WM refused to bargain. That’s the same thing as leaving the table. They told the Teamsters “last, best, and final,” when everybody knew it wasn’t the case.

          “Anybody” can give good garbage service? Try it sometime, smart guy. My money says you wouldn’t last the day.

      • Samantha says:

        I don’t think we’d get better service, but I imagine it would get done. My only point is that you can’t really go on strike if you have twice as many people hungry for your job. In a year or two when the economy is better, you’d probably be able to pull off a better strike and get the treatment you desire/deserve.

    • Lee Moyer says:

      One correction. We April Fools Day Burien Newbies are in the Wednesday collection area. We are affected with an overflow.

  2. Chris says:

    Can’t wait to see the labor agreement after it’s all said and done. I’ve heard that some long-tem WM employees will stand to make MORE than tenured police officers and firefighters. I heard numbers that were approaching 100K.

  3. Grover says:

    No one is talking about the clause that Wast Management wanted to put in the contract that said in tough times the employees wages could be cut to minimum wage. Who in there right mind would agree to such a clause.
    The things you are hearing from the media is bogus. The average WM driver makes about $77,000 which is good but not what a police officer makes AND the employees are forced to work 12 hours a day.
    If you think picking up garbage is easy, try it sometime and you will see what sweat is. And then do it 450 times in one day.
    The WM Teamsters deserve a fair contract. If you want to make what a teamster makes, get a teamster job.

    • Coverofnight says:

      $ 77,000 for a driver??!!!!! And what’s this about working up a sweat picking up garbage? The truck pulls up, the driver rolls the can (yes, they have wheels on them) close to the rig and it picks it up with hydraulics and dumps it. It’s then set back down, the driver moves it away from the truck, climbs in and drives to the next house roughly 70 ft. away and does it all over again. If they’re sweating, it’s because they’re hustling to finish their route – ’cause the sooner they finish, the more time they have to goof off while they’re “on the clock”. Tony’s right on with his thoughts; Ivan and Grover are just union shills who will NEVER convince truly hard-working Americans that the job couldn’t be done as well without the union. It’s all about customer service……WM’s policies would ensure that the current level of garbage service is maintained if non-union labor were used. Who knows, with cheaper labor, maybe my rates would go down. What a concept – giving back to the community by not giving in to unions. Americans unite – get rid of all unions!

      • Really? says:

        Coverofnight would like you to think that the job description of a garbage worker is equivalent to a chauffer. Really? This is a demanding job with a real physical aspect to it. I know how my back and knees would feel after five years of this work.

      • Lee Moyer says:

        Not all cans have wheels. Mine doesn’t.

        Manual ditch digging is another cushy job. Just stick the shovel in the dirt, lift up a pound or two, and set it somewhere else.

        I’m curious as to what “truly hard working Americans” do for a living.

      • Kai J. says:

        Coverofnight you may not be qualified to be a sanitation engineer but I still think there are opportunities waiting for you at FOX Network… Since you seem to have soooo much free time on your hands being the #1 commentor and all, you should really see about getting a real non-union job as a conservative corespondant or border patrol volunteer, better yet a missionary.

        My best to you and Palin.

        • Coverofnight says:

          I’m just here to provide the INTELLIGENT viewpoint on issues that affect our fine community to ensure that it’s included in the dialogue. Thank you for your support.

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