Teamsters Strike May Affect Garbage, Recycling Collection in Burien Area
A work stoppage by members of Teamsters Local 117 against Waste Management on Wednesday morning (July 25) may affect garbage, recycling and yard waste pickup in Burien.
“Due to a work stoppage this morning, there may be limited collection services today,” reads a statement on Waste Management’s website.
The company advises customers to continue to put their garage, recycling and yard waste out as usual. If it doesn’t get picked up, it will be retrieved the next pickup day at no extra charge.
As is the case with all strikes, there are two sides:
TEAMSTERS LOCAL 117 SAYS:
“Sanitation work ranks as the 5th most dangerous job in the country. Drivers deal with rats, maggots, used syringes, chemicals, and rotting meat on a routine basis. Since 2005, four Puget Sound recycle workers have been killed on the job.
Teamsters Local 117 calls on Waste Management to prevent a public health crisis and return to the bargaining table immediately and bargain a fair contract in good faith that recognizes the health and safety hazards its drivers face on the job.”
WASTE MANAGEMENT SAYS:
“After more than six months of contract negotiations and sixteen comprehensive proposals, Waste Management was disappointed that Teamsters Local 117 decided to strike today.
“We are perplexed that the Union chose to go out on strike and negatively impact the public in this way. This was simply unnecessary, especially considering the fair and generous last, best and final package offered to Teamsters Local 117 over four weeks ago,” said Robin Freedman of Waste Management. “Once again the Union leadership has chosen political gamesmanship rather than allowing their members to vote on the offer.”
The company is now shifting their focus to customer communications and implementing their contingency plan.
Not knowing the length of this strike, WM encourages customers to place their materials at the curb according to their regular collection schedule. If materials are not collected by the end of the day, bring them in and WM will collect a double load on your next collection day. Please check the WM website for daily collection information at www.wmnorthwest.com.”
Reports are that Drivers were offered a $98,000 wage-and-benefit package, which includes a four percent annual salary increase effective the second year of the six-year contract.