Garbage strike averted

April 13, 2010

By Staff

The trash haulers responsible for the Greenwood Point and South Cove neighborhoods lifted the threat of a strike April 11 and approved a new contract with garbage company Allied Waste.

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

Meanwhile, the company responsible for most of Issaquah, Waste Management, awaits a decision from haulers. Haulers for the company continued to work without a contract April 11. The haulers’ contract expired at midnight March 31, and haulers had authorized a strike.

Teamsters Local 174 negotiators rejected what Waste Management described as the “best, last, final offer” in early April.

Issaquah officials devoted a section of the municipal Web site, www.ci.issaquah.wa.us, to the labor situation, and the city encouraged residents to check the site. Waste Management also directed questions about trash pickup to the company Web site, www.wmnorthwest.com.

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.

Waste Management officials said the company plans to hire nonunion workers to uninterrupted continue trash service in the event of a strike.

Meanwhile, union officials prepared a plan for customers to report service disruptions and problems in the event of a strike.

“Over the next two days we will release a Web site and an 800 number for King County residents and businesses who want to report trash pick-up problems and avoid service disruptions,” Local 174 Secretary-Treasurer Rick Hicks said in a news release dated April 11. “We are going to do everything we can to make sure Waste Management doesn’t trash its workers or our neighborhoods.”

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