BOTHELL – About 50 garbage haulers left their routes this morning and joined a picket line outside a Waste Management site off 180th Street in south Snohomish County.
At lunchtime today, they carried red and white signs that said “Unfair Waste Management” and wore lime green WM vests.
“Why won’t you give us the same contract Allied (Waste) got?” asked one of the strikers.
In this county, Waste Management serves 75,000 homes and businesses. If the strike continues, it’s likely garbage service could be disrupted in parts of the county as soon as tomorrow.
A union representative on the scene told a reporter the strikers weren’t allowed to talk to the media. Employees at the site also declined to comment.
The workers are some of the hundreds of garbage haulers who collect trash in Snohomish and King counties.
The union, Teamsters Local 174, announced the strike this morning “in response to Waste Management’s refusal to bargain.”
Workers have been hauling garbage since their contracts expired March 31 while negotiations took place.
Talks sputtered after the company offered what it called its final and best offer – an offer that didn’t satisfy the union.
The union successfully negotiated a contract for garbage haulers at Allied Waste, another company that collects trash in Snohomish County.