Garbage haulers holding off on strike

  • Thu Apr 8th, 2010 10:41pm
  • News

By Debra Smith Herald Writer

Hundreds of garbage haulers in Snohomish and King counties continue to collect trash without a contract.

The union representing workers for Waste Management says a strike may happen — just when that might happen and how much notice the public would get isn’t something the union is disclosing now.

“We’re keeping all our options open,” said Teamsters Local 174 spokesman Michael Gonzales.

The Waste Management workers collect trash at 75,000 homes and businesses in communities across Snohomish County, including Arlington, Marysville, Mill Creek, Mountlake Terrace, Lynnwood, Brier, Mukilteo and parts of south Everett and unincorporated parts of the county.

The union is focused on a separate contract that Allied Waste workers plan to vote on Sunday morning, Gonzales said. That company and the union reached a tentative labor agreement March 31, the day contracts for garbage haulers for both companies ended.

Waste Management workers continued to collect trash as the union and company officials hashed out a contract. Those talks stalled earlier this week after the company offered what it called its final and best offer and union officials weren’t satisfied.

“We’re waiting to hear when the Teamsters want to meet again,” Waste Management spokeswoman Jackie Lang said Thursday. “We’re holding firm with our final economic proposal.”

Debra Smith: 425-339-3197, dsmith@heraldnet.com.

In case of a strike

If bins don’t get emptied because of a strike, people and businesses can take trash and recycling to Snohomish County solid waste facilities. A half-dozen stations across the county accept recycling and trash. It will cost extra. What residential customers shouldn’t do is dump trash in commercial dumpsters or the side of the road — both are illegal. For more information about county transfer sites, go to http://tinyurl.com/transfersites/ or call 425-388-3425.