Allied Waste workers stop work to support union in Alabama

Several thousand people and businesses in Snohomish County didn’t get their trash picked up because Allied Waste employees stopped work here in support of a union in Alabama.

Residents are now figuring out how to cope with extra garbage until service resumes. It isn’t clear when that will be. Allied Waste officials did not return phone calls Thursday.

The lack of information, and the lack of service, from the waste contractor has folks, including Lynnwood resident Martin Spani, angry about being used as a prop in a contract dispute taking place across the country.

“Now, I have to buy bags to hold my garbage for one more week,” Spani said. “I am paying for a service I am not getting. That doesn’t make sense.”

Allied Waste collects solid waste from Snohomish, Sultan, Monroe, Lynnwood, Edmonds, Lake Stevens, Gold Bar and unincorporated Snohomish County.

Thursday’s disruption affected garbage collection in Snohomish, parts of Lynnwood and unincorporated Snohomish County east of Monroe.

About 3,500 households in Snohomish didn’t have their trash collected. The city is planning to do double collections next week, assuming service is restored, City Manager Larry Bauman said.

Snohomish resident Lya Badgley hopes the labor dispute is resolved as soon as possible so her compost can be picked up.

“We have a lot of recycling and compost. In a couple of days, it will get smelly” she said.

In Sultan, Allied Waste serves 1,800 households. Thursday was the day Allied Waste collects recycling and yard waste, so the effect has been small so far, city administrator Deborah Knight said.

A local union official did not say when Allied Waste workers would return to work in Snohomish County.

“It really depends on the striking workers in Alabama,” said Paul Zilly, spokesman for Teamsters Local Union 117 in Tukwila.

Allied Waste, or Republic Services as it’s known nationally, and Mobile, Ala. Teamsters Local 991 are currently in a labor dispute concerning workers’ health coverage.

Workers in Alabama went on strike last week and expanded their picket lines to the states of New York, Ohio and Washington. The Alabama Teamsters union sent picketers to those states.

In Washington, they picketed in Lynnwood, Seattle, Bellevue and Kent. Teamsters here refused to cross the picket lines, Zilly said.

Alejandro Dominguez:425-339-3422; adominguez@heraldnet.com.

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