Some Puget Sound area workers for Allied Waste and Republic Services took to the picket lines Wednesday in a show of solidarity for fellow workers on strike in Ohio, and that's going to leave garbage on the curb for some customers.
The Teamsters said picket lines were set up at the company’s facilities in Seattle, Lynnwood and Kent/SeaTac. About 200 local workers are honoring the Ohio strike. Two Ohio workers were brought in to join one of the picket lines in Seattle.
The union said Allied and Republic customers in Seattle, Everett, Lynnwood, Kent, Normandy Park, Auburn and Burien should not expect pick up Wednesday. However, some neighborhoods in those areas were still being serviced.
A spokesperson for Republic said any customers who do not have their garbage collected Wednesday can put out double the trash on their next collection day. They will not be charged extra.
Waste Management customers are not affected.
The union said Republic provoked an unfair labor practice strike with Teamsters Local 377 in Youngstown, Ohio by violating federal labor law during contract negotiations. Picket lines have spread across the country.
The union also took a shot at Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates, who they say is a primary shareholder in Republic Services, owning about 25 percent of the company.
"Bill Gates says he promotes global health, but he refuses to step in and stop Republic from violating workers' rights and causing a public health crisis in cities across the country," said Tracey A. Thompson, Secretary-Treasurer of Teamsters Local 117 in a statement.
Republic says it has forced multiple lockouts and strikes over the past year.