With garbage strike delayed, Waste Management asks residents to put out trash as usual

April 1, 2010

By Warren Kagarise

NEW — 6 a.m. April 1, 2010

Garbage should be picked up as usual Thursday, after trash haulers and Waste Management agreed to continue labor negotiations.

The haulers’ contract expired at midnight Wednesday. Although Waste Management and Teamsters Local 174 continue to negotiate a final agreement, union officials said drivers should report to work Thursday. The parties agreed to continue negotiating early Thursday morning.

“We are happy that talks are continuing and look forward to participating in a full day of bargaining focused on a deal,” Waste Management spokeswoman Jackie Lang said in a statement posted on the company Web site.

Waste Management serves most of Issaquah, where the Thursday collection schedule includes parts of downtown, Tiger Mountain and neighborhoods along Southeast Black Nugget Road.

Waste Management negotiators will continue to meet at the bargaining table with representatives of Local 174 on Thursday. If Local 174 strikes, members of Teamsters Local 117 will not cross the picket line.

Local 174 members handle garbage; members of Local 117 pick up recyclables and yard waste.

King and Snohomish counties garbage haulers voted Sunday to call a strike if a contract dispute could not be settled. If the haulers strike, Waste Management plans to recruit managers and nonunion personnel to continue service.

Issaquah officials continue to monitor ongoing labor negotiations between the haulers and Waste Management. The city devoted a section of the municipal Web site to the ongoing labor negotiations, and city spokeswoman Autumn Monahan encouraged residents to check the site as negotiations unfold.

Another trash pick-up company, Allied Waste, reached a tentative agreement with the haulers’ union early Wednesday evening.

In Issaquah, the company handles the area southwest of Lake Sammamish, including the Greenwood Point and South Cove neighborhoods.

King County Executive Dow Constantine lauded the tentative pact between Allied Waste and the haulers.

“I applaud the hard work of Allied Waste and Teamsters Locals 117 and 174 to reach a tentative agreement in their negotiations toward a new contract,” he said in a statement. “Allied Waste provides garbage collection to cities throughout King County and this will come as welcome news to residents of those areas.”

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