Trash pickup continues despite strike threat

April 6, 2010

By Staff

Garbage pickup continued as usual last week, although trash haulers and Waste Management failed to reach a deal for a labor pact.

The haulers’ contract expired at midnight March 31, and trash workers had authorized a strike. Although Waste Management and Teamsters Local 174 continue to work toward a final agreement, union officials said drivers should continue to report to work. Waste Management officials said the company plans to hire nonunion workers to continue trash service uninterrupted in the event of a strike.

Waste Management negotiators delivered what the company described as the “best, last, final offer” to Local 174 late last week.

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.

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

Waste Management also directed questions about the negotiations and trash pickup to the company Web site.

Waste Management serves most of Issaquah. Allied Waste handles the area southwest of Lake Sammamish, including the Greenwood Point and South Cove neighborhoods. The companies also serve Sammamish.

Allied Waste reached a tentative agreement with the haulers’ union March 31.

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