No progress on ending garbage and recycling drivers' strike

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by KING 5 News

KING5.com

Posted on July 26, 2012 at 6:21 AM

Updated Thursday, Jul 26 at 5:26 PM

Waste Management and the Teamsters appeared no closer Thursday afternoon in an ongoing dispute over wages and working conditions that prompted unionized drivers for the company to walk off their jobs Wednesday.

Shortly before a Teamsters press conference scheduled for 2 p.m., Waste Management issued a short statement insisting its officers are ready to restart face-to-face negotiations.

"Unfortunately, the Union leadership refuses to allow our drivers to return to work and refuses to ensure uninterrupted service next week," the statement said.

At their press conference, Teamsters officials said the ball is entirely in Waste Management's court. The union said it requested a resumption of negotiations through the federal mediator but that no meeting has been scheduled.

"We will picket until we can get a commitment from the company to bargain in good faith," said Brenda Wiest of Teamsters Local 117.

Waste Management could face penalties if trash isn't picked up. The City of Seattle could fine the company as much as $250,000 per day.

Post earlier:

King and Snohomish County Waste Management customers who normally get their garbage and recycling picked up on Thursday will have to wait at least a week.

There won't be any trash, recycling or yard waste service at all Thursday due to a strike among recycle drivers.

Waste Management advises customers not to put any waste bins out, as there won't be any drivers to pick it up. They will pick up double loads next week, if the strike ends.

Garbage truck drivers are honoring the recycling drivers' picket lines, resulting in the complete stoppage of service.

Thursday is garbage day in Seattle, Federal Way, Marysville and Redmond, but get the complete schedule on the Waste Management website (www.wmnorthwest.com) or call the customer service center at 1-800-592-9995.

About 220,000 customers are affected by the strike. 

The striking recycle drivers are with Teamsters Local 117, fighting for better salary and benefits in a contract negotiation that has dragged on for months.

They would like Waste Management to raise their salaries to meet the pay of garbage drivers. With overtime, recycle drivers make about $58,000 a year. If requests are met, they could make as much as $98,000 a year with overtime.

Negotiations between the Teamsters and Waste Management will continue on Saturday.

Allied Waste customers and the King County Transer Stations are not affected by the strike.

Negotiation updates are also posted on the Teamsters Local 117 website, www.seattletrashwatch.org.

Here are Thursday affected customers:

Residential:

Algona
Auburn
Bothell
Federal Way
Granite Falls
Kirkland
Maple Valley
Marysville
Mill Creek
Pacific
Redmond
Sammamish
Seattle
WUTC Fairwood
WUTC Federal Way/Auburn
WUTC Index
WUTC Sammamish
WUTC Skyway
WUTC Snohomish
WUTC South Everett/North Bothell/Maltby/South Snohomish/Clearview

Commercial:

Algona
Arlington
Auburn
Bothell
Burien
Carnation
Duvall
Federal Way
Kent
Kirkland
Maple Valley
Marysville
Mill Creek
Monroe
Mountlake Terrace
Mukilteo
Newcastle
Pacific
Redmond
Renton
Seattle
Sammamish
Snohomish
Tukwila
WUTC East Redmond/Duvall/Carnation
WUTC East Redmond/Novelty Hill
WUTC Fairwood
WUTC Federal Way/Auburn
WUTC Lynnwood/Alderwood/North Bothell
WUTC Mountlake Terrace/Brier
WUTC Mukilteo/South Everett
WUTC Sammamish
WUTC Skyway
WUTC Snohomish
WUTC South Everett/North Bothell/Maltby/South Snohomish/Clearview
WUTC South Everett/Snohomish
WUTC Woodinville
WUTC Woodinville/Duvall

The Washington Utilities and Transportation Committee has said they will continue providing service to only "critical" facilities, such as hospitals, nursing homes and restaurants, without interruption.

KING 5's Glenn Farley, Lindsay Chamberlain, Natasha Ryan contributed to this report.

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