Seattle: Garbage pickup halted as Waste Management strike spreads

Seattle PI. July 26:

SEATTLE – Waste Management garbage haulers have joined other drivers on strike Thursday, meaning that the garbage of hundreds of thousands of King and Snohomish County residents will not be picked up.

The picketers say they’ve been working without a contract since May 31.

They’re upset in part because of a pay disparity – recycling drivers make about $9 an hour less than garbage haulers.

Because of the strike, the garbage of about 220-thousand customers will not be picked up.

The strike affects customers from Algona to Woodinville in King County and from Snohomish to Montlake Terrace in Snohomish County.

Waste Management says the strike gained strength this morning as garbage haulers joined the picket lines.

“As you can see, Local 117 is out her picketing today. And we did receive word this morning that 174 garbage truck drivers will honor the picket line, so there will be no service today,” said Waste Management spokesperson Robin Freedman.

Waste Management could be fined if the strike drags on. The city can take away $4,500 a day for not making those collections – and the fine couold climb as high as $250,000 a day if the strike goes longer than a week.

There is no immediate end to this strike.

KOMO News spoke with some workers Thursday morning who said there are no talks or negotiations scheduled.

Meanwhile, thousands of garbage customers are left to wonder what to do with their trash, recycling and yard waste.


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