Waste Management strike: ‘Surprise’ home pickups; free transfer-station dropoffs

July 31, 2012 at 2:01 pm | In Waste Management strike, West Seattle news | 82 Comments

(TOPLINES: Some got “surprise” pickup today; if you have Wednesday pickup, city says PUT YOUR CANS OUT, and WM says it WILL have home service in Seattle; also, starting tomorrow, you can take trash to transfer stations for free)

(Photo added 2:26 pm, WM truck turning east on Thistle from California after pickups)
2:01 PM: Though we haven’t been able to get official comment on this so far, we’ve received scattered reports of residential trash pickups in West Seattle today (described by one commenter as a “surprise”) – so if you are a Tuesday customer and you happen to be home, you might consider putting out your trash/recycling, even though the official advisories from both the city and Waste Management said not to. More as we get it.

ADDED 3:11 PM: According to The Seattle Times (WSB partner), starting tomorrow you will be able to take trash to one of the city’s two transfer stations (nearest to us is South Park) for free – with some fine print (here’s their story).

3:37 PM: Seattle Public Utilities has now sent a news release with details on the free dropoffs – and other strike updates, including advice that WEDNESDAY pickup customers should put their cans out tomorrow; read on (plus, added 10 pm, Waste Management’s statement saying it expects to serve Seattle neighborhoods tomorrow):

Mayor Mike McGinn has directed Seattle Public Utilities (SPU) to open the city’s garbage transfer stations, at no charge, to single-family residents whose garbage, recycling and food/yard waste has not been collected by Waste Management as the result of the week-long strike by Teamsters Union drivers.

“We will be rigorously inspecting Waste Management’s work and fining them for every violation,” McGinn said. “We understand that this disruption of service has real consequences for businesses and people, so we will not be charging those who bring their waste to a transfer station. Every penny that we collect from Waste Management in fines will be returned to our customers as reductions to their bill.”

Starting tomorrow (Aug. 1), single-family residents in Waste Management’s service areas may drop off up to six bags of garbage and yard waste for free at the South and North transfer stations, which operate from 8:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., seven days a week. Customers should bring appropriate identification — for example, a driver’s license or a utility bill — to demonstrate they are City of Seattle residents.

Recycling drop-off is always free.

SPU is asking Wednesday customers to put garbage, yard waste and recycling out before 7 a.m. tomorrow morning. Carts should be left out until 6 p.m. Thursday night, August 2, for possible collection and recording for fines — up to $1.25 million a day — to be issued to Waste Management.

Mayor McGinn also directed SPU to return any collected penalties to its customers, in the form of adjustments to their solid waste bills. Details of that arrangement are being developed by SPU.

The Mayor emphasized that the city’s top priority is safeguarding public health and safety, and he urged the company and the union to get back to the bargaining table immediately to get their differences resolved and the garbage picked up.

SPU operates two transfer stations:

· The North Recycling and Disposal Station is located at 1350 North 34th Street in the Fremont/Wallingford area.

· The South Recycling and Disposal Station is located at 8105 5th Avenue South in the South Park area.

Both stations are open daily 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Customers who want to avoid lines should drop off items before 2 p.m. Customers can also check to see if there are lines with SPU’s station web cams

10 PM: Waste Management‘s update tonight says they DO expect to pick up in Seattle neighborhoods with Wednesday service:

The labor disruption continues to be a very unfortunate situation for our customers. Waste Management sincerely apologizes to our community for the inconvenience caused by the Teamsters strike. Waste Management is working diligently to resume services throughout Puget Sound. Additional WM substitute drivers continue to arrive, which will provide additional service capacity.

We are pleased to announce that WM is expanding our service recovery efforts tomorrow to include certain residential areas.

Wednesday Collection Services

WM is scheduled to run all Wednesday commercial garbage routes. This means garbage service for all businesses that are normally serviced on Wednesdays.
For residents living in the following cities who normally receive garbage collection on Wednesdays, WM will be servicing you tomorrow (garbage only):

(The ensuing list includes Seattle, as you can see on the WM site.)

82 Comments

  1. I live off SW Morgan St & 39th-just went outside & found that our trash had been picked up. Not sure when-but as I left the house around 10:30 am I saw a garbage truck a block away.

    Comment by Anne — 2:10 pm July 31, 2012 #

  2. DANG!!! I didnt put my garbage out this morning! oh well…thanks, as always, WSB for being on top of EVERYTHING that affects WS residents.

    Comment by Brandon — 2:11 pm July 31, 2012 #

  3. As always, it’s thanks to tips. We got one report at midmorning that seemed like maybe a fluke – and suddenly now multiple reports. (And before I could even finish this comment .. a truck went down a street near us … only picked up one side of the street, though …)

    Comment by WSB — 2:23 pm July 31, 2012 #

  4. They said they would not pick up this week, and they’d pick up double load next week. For those surprised by pickup today who did not put out trash, they get charged next week for putting out double?

    Comment by MBH — 2:38 pm July 31, 2012 #

  5. As we call WM at work and have for years…wasteless management. They are the WORST ever!

    Comment by coffee — 2:53 pm July 31, 2012 #

  6. The city is hiring replacement drivers, many of whom have little or no experience driving these huge garbage trucks in residential neighborhood. This is highly irresponsible. Children are on vacation and out playing in yards and streets. What if an inexperienced driver fails to see one. My neighborhood, Wallingford, is a nightmare to negotiate with streets packed with cars on both sides of the street and near the corners. I have watched my very experienced regular driver squeeze through the street, barely missing side mirrors and fenders. He and I had a conversation about how hard it is to get through in Wallingford. I suggest we all make calls to the city objecting to their refusal to settle with the waste workers while they risk law suits and damage to life, limb and property. If there is a billion dollar law suit because a child is hit, the city will end up paying a lot more money than they will to the waste workers for pay increases.

    Comment by Joan D'Andrea — 2:54 pm July 31, 2012 #

  7. This is wierd. Our pickup day is Tuesday and they didn’t pick our garbage up last week even though the strike started Wed but they did pick up today. We didn’t have it all out of course because we weren’t expecting it.

    Comment by steve — 2:56 pm July 31, 2012 #

  8. Weird. I just received a recorded message from one of my ‘recycle drivers’ saying that Waste Management Corporation has hired substitute drivers from out of state, warning me that these drivers may not be familiar with our ‘region’s dangerous roads’ and keep children safe from their paths. At the end he said ‘No trash pickup? Leave it on the curb then call 800-230-7418.”

    Comment by bianca — 3:00 pm July 31, 2012 #

  9. No such luck here. Can is out, but doubtful it will be picked up.

    Comment by Krm66 — 3:02 pm July 31, 2012 #

  10. A truck came by Graham and 39th around 10.45 so I ran out and put my cans out but it went down an alley and didn’t turn down my street. I waited until 2.00 but didn’t see any more trucks in the area.

    Comment by EB — 3:16 pm July 31, 2012 #

  11. 15:18 on July 31st. No pickups at my house in Arbor Heights, but I will leave my cans out until dark – just in case :)

    Comment by Kevin — 3:20 pm July 31, 2012 #

  12. I just got a robocall from “Brent Barrett, yard waste driver” (and, I learned, union steward) warning me of the dangers that the replacement drivers introduce and encouraging me to call the police if they cause any problems or accidents. He ended with (what sounded like) helpful instructions for reporting missed pick-ups, including an 800# to call. Turns out the 800# is, seemingly, managed by the union and is a way for them to collect reports from angry customers to post on their website and social media outlets, before connecting you to a city official to lodge your complaint.

    I support the right to a fair wage. But deception and fear-mongering don’t make me too empathetic to this union’s cause.

    Comment by LP — 3:21 pm July 31, 2012 #

  13. Cannot wait to get home to see if I will have the happy surprise waiting for me.

    Comment by Steph — 3:22 pm July 31, 2012 #

  14. Sounds like Joan is a wife of a striking driver hit all the union talking points. By the way Joan it is Waste management ( private company) hiring the drivers not the City

    Comment by JimClark — 3:27 pm July 31, 2012 #

  15. bianca, I received the same robo-call. I thought that last line was interesting. I almost called to find out what it was all about … but really do not need immediate trash pickup.

    Comment by shed22 — 3:27 pm July 31, 2012 #

  16. Joan – the city doesn’t hire the drivers. The city has a contract with a private company, and the private company hires the drivers.

    Comment by LE — 3:38 pm July 31, 2012 #

  17. In the mean time, I’m forced to FREEZE all my stinky trash like fish, chicken, etc. No different than what the big cruise ships do.

    Comment by Kevin — 3:39 pm July 31, 2012 #

  18. Joan D’Andrea – I get the feeling you or someone in your family is on strike. I am not buying into your fear tactics. Hopefully nobody gets hit by a truck, but if they do I highly doubt it would be a “billion dollar lawsuit”.

    Comment by Krm66 — 3:46 pm July 31, 2012 #

  19. Totally unclassy robocall from the union. Here’s what you can expect when you get home: “Waste Management corporation is substituting us with drivers from out of state who may not be qualified to drive heavy garbage trucks on our region’s dangerous roads. Please be careful, make sure your children stay out of the way of the trucks. Call police if you see something dangerous.” Fearmongering is right.

    Comment by bridge to somewhere — 3:46 pm July 31, 2012 #

  20. Seattle’s home page “Seattle.gov” says to put the garbage out. Seattle utilities home page “seattle.gov/util” in a dated box outlined in red
    says NOT to put the garbage out. I have called attention to this to the mayor’s office but naturally no response. Can someone explain why if the utility itself says NOT to put the garbage out, they are running trucks thru the neighborhood? It would seem to me that there wouldn’t be any trucks in the neighborhood until all hospitals, restaurants … had been picked up! Is anyone really running the zoo??

    Comment by flynlo — 3:47 pm July 31, 2012 #

  21. I agree-Implying that these replacement drivers would put kids lives at risk is fear mongering at its worst!

    Comment by Anne — 3:47 pm July 31, 2012 #

  22. City of Seattle is deducting their payments to Waste Management in the tune of 15K to 20K per day but yet will not pro-rate or reimburse us for our missed garbage and recycle pick-ups.

    Comment by Mike in the Junction — 3:53 pm July 31, 2012 #

  23. Flynlo …that is the question I have out to WM and the city. No reply to date.

    Comment by WSB — 3:56 pm July 31, 2012 #

  24. Joan D’Andrea – they are not hiring “inexperienced” drivers – they are drivers from WM being temporarily transfered in from other cities that WM operates in. They drive the exact same trucks in those cities. They may not be familiar with the area, but that doesn’t mean they don’t know how to operate or drive the vehicle, or that they drive any less “safely” because they don’t know the area. Possibly even a little MORE safer than the usual drivers because of the unfamiliarity!

    Comment by Jason — 4:03 pm July 31, 2012 #

  25. JimClark hit it well – Joan needs to learn about contracts. The city contracts with Waste Management, and Waste Management hires employees “through” the union. The city can’t hire drivers for trucks they don’t own, and WM is brining in experienced drivers from other areas (most likely non-union, or broke drivers looking to earn a bonus). If there’s a “billion dollar law suit”, it’ll go against WM, not the city, and if WM tries to raise its rates, the competition will underbid them and take over the work.

    Comment by Pete Templin — 4:10 pm July 31, 2012 #

  26. I have a hard time sympathizing with either side because they let things get so bad that they felt a strike had to be called. It seems like greed on both sides is more important than the customers that pay their salaries. Also, the city and public utility have a role in this to provide clear and unified instructions on what people are supposed to do, but they can’t even seem to perform that one task, which makes me question if anyone is in even in charge

    Comment by LadyBusiness — 4:19 pm July 31, 2012 #

  27. Just dawned on me, what about us in unincorporated King County? Hum….do we fall into City of Seattle or Burien for the “rules”….

    Comment by coffee — 4:24 pm July 31, 2012 #

  28. Coffee, WM told me to “look for the unincorporated King County info” and yet that’s not distinctly listed on the pages they keep pointing to. I think Seattle …

    Comment by WSB — 4:27 pm July 31, 2012 #

  29. Not only was my trash picked up today, my can wasn’t even at the end of my driveway. Glad for the pickup!

    Comment by KM — 4:28 pm July 31, 2012 #

  30. Coffee – I was wondering the same thing, because I’m technically city of Burien not Seattle or Unincorporated.
    .
    Also wondering if ONLY Seattle will be getting a bill credit!

    Comment by J — 4:37 pm July 31, 2012 #

  31. just got a 2nd robo call (after the first described and criticized above by other web readers)–this latest call said to for those of us with regular weds yard waste/recycling/trash pick up to put out our bins and they would be picked up tomorrow.

    not sure how i feel about the discussions above but i do support the local workers in striking for a fair/existing contract, which they’ve been working without for months.

    Comment by kumalavula — 4:39 pm July 31, 2012 #

  32. My trash is going to sit there until someone does their job! It would be nice if the city of Seattle would just allow us to opt out of their service and manage our own disposal. In the long run it’s cheaper for us to run to the county transfer station, rather than pay the outrageous rates the city charges anyway. But you don’t get that option.

    Comment by OldPink — 4:51 pm July 31, 2012 #

  33. Notice that the fine print in the free drop off says UNTIL THE STRIKE ENDS. Since the hours (8:00 to 5:30 ) are during work hours, this may not be much help to many people, unless the strike lasts beyond the weekend.

    Comment by karen — 4:54 pm July 31, 2012 #

  34. I saw on the news last night that customers are bringing their trash to the WM picket line and givin’ the bags a good ol’ heave-ho!

    Comment by Rats — 4:56 pm July 31, 2012 #

  35. Simple solution ongoing: SPU requires contractors (like WMI) to include no strike clauses, no slow down clauses, etc. This, is of course, how other cities handle many essential public service contracts. Don’t hold your breath.

    Comment by John — 4:59 pm July 31, 2012 #

  36. The robo call is really shameful. I’m all for a fair wage – and if you have as many maggots in your yard waste as I do from mandatory composting – $200,000 wouldn’t be a fair wage for handing that. But as such, it’s a slippery slope. How much is enough to pay people to pick up garbage? I would imagine that $100,000 with benefits is a really good living wage. I’m really sick of the sight and smell of the trash on every street. If the driver’s want to strike for a “fair” contract – fine. But hire people who will pick it up in the meantime to keep our City civilized.

    Comment by Amanda — 5:00 pm July 31, 2012 #

  37. They chose to do this job knowing the ups, downs and pay – also they’re picking it up NOT the ones sorting it!
    .
    I believe there are many people out there that would be happy to do the job for the wage & benefits they’re already receiving!

    Comment by J — 5:17 pm July 31, 2012 #

  38. I just heard that we will be able to bring three bags of waste to the dump as of tomorrow free

    Comment by clark5080 — 5:32 pm July 31, 2012 #

  39. Robo call really not necessary – our regions dangerous roads? Really? I walk, drive and bike them every day. How do they get off calling if we are on do not call lists? Where did they get our phone numbers from?

    Why is Joan from Wallingford posting here? Give it up!

    Comment by raincity — 5:33 pm July 31, 2012 #

  40. Thank you to whoever did pick up my garbage; glad I ran out last night to put it out just in case! I also got the robo call, which I thought interesting since I’m not an actual garbage customer – my landlord is the account, not at the same address nor phone number. So wondering where they actually got our #s from. And the “inexperienced” driver actually did a better job of not tossing around the lid and leaving the can against the fence rather than sticking out in the alley travel lane. So, yay, “inexperienced” driver!

    Comment by Sue — 5:47 pm July 31, 2012 #

  41. I got the robo call too. It made me laugh because it sounded so dramatic. They warned about the dangerous of kids playing by the trucks.

    Comment by SJ2 — 5:48 pm July 31, 2012 #

  42. @JimClark

    I was reading through the comments and I got jazzed and just told my partner all the points you made; and then got to your comments. Great minds think alike. I added to her that it points out the inadequacies of our educational system. On the ‘internets’ anyone can have an strong opinion regardless of whether that opinion is related to facts, once again illustrated nicely. We also received the robo call with a similar reaction of heavy handedness. Sounds like WM is not playing ball; bringing in scabs is Ronald Reagan-esque. Systematic dismantling of unions will be harmful to all working class Americans in the long run I believe. I support good wages for good work. Perfectly happy to run our garbage down to a transfer station in a couple weeks if needed. Hey, I got strong opinions too.

    Comment by Art Critic — 5:49 pm July 31, 2012 #

  43. I live in Burien and not in an unincorporated area, on 136th, right where garbage routes for everyday of the week merge! It’s like 9/11 when it was eerily quite without planes; I’ve become accustomed to hearing the Waste Management trucks 5 days a week! I have Seattle City Light for electric, part of Seattle Public Utilities (SPU). My normal collection day is Tuesday and last week I did not have garbage or yard waste collection. Both last Wednesday and today I’ve received the automated messages from SPU regarding the status of service. Tonight in the automated message it stated the part about being able to take 6 bags to the transfer station. Reading the press release it says “Customers should bring appropriate identification — for example, a driver’s license or a utility bill — to demonstrate they are City of Seattle residents.” Can anyone clarify if SPU customers (I can show a utility bill providing I pay the City of Seattle for “services), who live in Burien, and are receiving the automated calls, take trash to the transfer station??? Fyi, the automated message said I needed to put my trash out by tomorrow morning (Wednesday) at 7 am and to leave it out until Thursday at 6pm unless it was collected. I see that Coffee and J’s messages were similar to mine…if anyone can get an answer Tracy can!!!

    Comment by Clarification requested... — 6:25 pm July 31, 2012 #

  44. Amanda: recycle drivers don’t make anything like $100,000 in pay. The starting wage is around $20/hour. The company is adding in all kinds of nonsense #s to get to $98,000 — and not even explaining how the heck they’re getting that # — but it’s just not true.
    .
    You know who does make more than $98K though? The CEO of Waste Management made $5.19 million last year, which works out to more than $98K… every week!

    Comment by Sage — 6:31 pm July 31, 2012 #

  45. more great union tactics. how robotic of a union to leave those recorded messages. fitting considering members can’t think for themselves.

    I am happy letting me trash pile up. hold tight WM….if they want equal wages let them go apply at Clean Scapes for less money. the diaper bin, dog crap bags and cat litter are piled high. it’s going to be a fun pick up when this thing is finally over.

    bring on the relief drivers. if the strikers get in the way just give them a little nudge. get knocked over with a garbage truck and it’s likely the last time they stand in front of a moving truck

    Comment by Joel — 6:50 pm July 31, 2012 #

  46. WM hiring permanent replacements for the strikers?

    Comment by bridge to somewhere — 7:52 pm July 31, 2012 #

  47. Sara Cynthia Sylvia Stout

    .

    Mike

    Comment by miws — 8:22 pm July 31, 2012 #

  48. we live in White Center but our address says Seattle so I am taking my trash to the transfer station—finally something this mayor did that makes sense–I din’t have to bike my trash there, do I?

    Comment by karen — 9:18 pm July 31, 2012 #

  49. I’ve heard not only are the PERMANENT replacement drivers are evil and will kill small children, bite off live chicken heads, hurt puppies and destroy rainbows, but will do immense harm to us all. As my stewardess, or more politically correct flight attendant friend would say; Buh Bye.

    Comment by whuut — 9:30 pm July 31, 2012 #

  50. Direct from the WM Site:

    Service Delays – updated as often as possible

    August 1st, 2012

    The labor disruption continues to be a very unfortunate situation for our customers. Waste Management sincerely apologizes to our community for the inconvenience caused by the Teamsters strike. We are working diligently to resume services throughout Puget Sound. Additional WM substitute drivers continue to arrive, which will provide additional service capacity.

    Commercial Customers

    Snohomish and King County Commercial Customers:

    If you are a Wednesday customer, please set out and/or unlock your containers as you normally would on a service day.

    Skagit County Commercial Customers:

    Due to the labor disruption expanding to Skagit County, we will be unable to service commercial accounts. We will collect up to twice your regular amount of missed services on your next regular service day at no additional charge.

    Residential Customers

    Residential Customers Receiving Garbage Service

    All residential customers who are normally serviced on Wednesdays and are listed below will receive garbage service on Wednesday, August 1st:

    Algona
    Auburn
    Bothell
    Federal Way
    Kirkland
    Maple Valley
    Mill Creek
    Redmond
    Renton
    Seattle

    Residential Customers Receiving Recycling and Yard Waste Service:

    All residential customers who are normally serviced on Wednesdays and are listed below will receive recycle and yard waste service on Wednesday, August 1st:
    Marysville

    Residential Customers Without Service:

    Unfortunately, we will not provide your regularly scheduled service today. Waste Management will collect additional material on your next regular service day at no additional charge and are working diligently to expand our service capacities.

    Anacortes (yard waste only)
    Burien
    Burlington
    Concrete
    Mount Vernon (recycle and yard waste only)
    Mountlake Terrace
    Newcastle
    Sedro Woolley (yard waste only)
    Stanwood
    WUTC Camano
    WUTC Fairwood
    WUTC Federal Way/Auburn
    WUTC Index
    WUTC Mount Vernon Big Lake
    WUTC Mountlake Terrace/Brier
    WUTC Sedro Woolley
    WUTC Snohomish
    WUTC South Mount Vernon
    WUTC West Mount Vernon/Fir Island
    WUTC Woodinville

    Comment by J — 9:55 pm July 31, 2012 #

  51. That’s the contents of tonight’s news release, which we also received, and which I’m adding to the story above, though basically it says the same thing we reported them saying earlier – DO put your trash/recycling out tomorrow. (And let us know what happens – particularly if you are in a Wednesday pickup zone and you do NOT get service …) – TR

    Comment by WSB — 10:00 pm July 31, 2012 #

  52. #1. I want my garbage back because whoever picked it up should not be driving in my dangerous alley.
    #2. Our roads are very dangerous and filled with people who don’t know how to drive.
    #3. The roads here are very slick when wet and since these people are from other parts of the country, they most likely have never seen rain!
    #4. It’s all good until one of these scabs runs over a bunch of roped up kids(Daycare’s do this to walk the kids)I’m pretty sure some are chained together at times.
    #5. Hysteria is sweeping our city due to the fumes of rotting garbage!

    Comment by Dunno — 10:03 pm July 31, 2012 #

  53. Thank you for the replacement drivers! I say hire these “dangerous” drivers and pick up our trash. Joan~ these drivers have to have the same licensing as the striking drivers. They will do just fine. And I bet they are happy to have a job.

    Comment by ttt — 10:21 pm July 31, 2012 #

  54. Art Critic you are correct I am just a lowly product of Seattle Public Schools and Seattle Central Community College no PHD here. Not gonna stop me from stating my opinion though. Personally I don’t believe anything that is coming out of the media from either side. They both are spinning like crazy. Both sides need to sit down and truly negotiate. Also I think it stinks they are hiring permanent replacements.

    Comment by Jim Clark — 10:39 pm July 31, 2012 #

  55. Wife say garbage picked up this morning per normal schedule. Truck was escorted by private security on foot and car. We are near 36th and library.

    Comment by Myles — 10:40 pm July 31, 2012 #

  56. Oh please pick up my garbage tomorrow WM, and definitely the composed/yard waste bin as I almost passed out after opening it today.

    Comment by Xavier — 10:58 pm July 31, 2012 #

  57. Clarification – Burien will not receive service according to the WM site. I still put mine out just in case!

    Comment by J — 11:08 pm July 31, 2012 #

  58. This is going to get ugly tomorrow when Waste Management brings in permanent drivers to avoid heavy fines. Anyways, making six figures that doesn’t require much of an education and retirement benefites ain’t well.. let’s say easy to find in a bad economy. Good luck with that one. How much do teachers make with a Bachelor’s? Garbage men making that much to roll around cans and most of them are lift up mechanically, almost no physical labor.

    Comment by Jiggers — 11:30 pm July 31, 2012 #

  59. I like how everybody’s just taking WM’s word for it regarding that $98k figure. Speaking of spin…

    Comment by datamuse — 11:44 pm July 31, 2012 #

  60. Liberals in West Seattle: union supporters when it’s convenient.

    Waste Management is willing to fly in scabs instead of paying their workers a fair wage.

    Comment by FauntleeHillsFag — 12:15 am August 1, 2012 #

  61. @Jim Clark-I hope its clear, I agree with you Jim.

    If WM is hiring replacements for its union employees I would think the City of Seattle could get out of its contract with them and take bids from other union companies? A city like Seattle cannot let that kind of corporate citizen behavior stand, I would think. I wonder what kind of fine print is in the contract with WM? Time to use some of that political will and grow a spine.

    By the way, I was a union garbage worker during summers while completing my great college degree decades ago. Like I said its good work.

    Comment by Art Critic — 3:05 am August 1, 2012 #

  62. My favorite part of this whole ordeal are the people claiming this job is easy, and anyone is willing to do it. I can find the link to WM again, if anyone believes they are truly destined to drive a recycling truck.

    Also, ‘in this economy’ is, to me, the weakest of the weak excuses. Should we all take pay cuts, because ‘in this economy’ it’s just selfish to want to make a living and maybe have some cash after you pay your bills?

    Comment by jedifarfy — 4:57 am August 1, 2012 #

  63. I’m all for supporting union and worker’s rights, but this has become ridiculous. Where I am on North Delridge, crows are starting to eat from the garbage cans and leave trash everywhere. It is dirtying what otherwise is a beautiful neighborhood. I have been wanting to do a major overhaul of my yard, but cannot because of the yard waste that is sitting there from last week. Negotiate, and f’ing get back to work!

    Comment by June — 5:13 am August 1, 2012 #

  64. @Joan Deandrea, my understanding is WM is hiring temporary EXPERIENCED drivers to take over the runs during the strike. I seriously doubt they would just hire anyone “off the street” with no experience maneuvering our road network.

    Comment by Jun-jun — 6:00 am August 1, 2012 #

  65. Good for waste management! Hire drivers greatful for work. The unions have way too much ” power” in this state and need to be reined in. Really do you need to be paid over $60k a year plus benefits to drive a truck and pick up trash. I think not.

    Comment by katherine — 6:59 am August 1, 2012 #

  66. Miws,

    Great post, one of the greatest song/raps ever!
    She would not take the garbage out! In fact it may be one of the first rap tunes ever. It’s right up there with Walter Wart the freaky frog! lol I love it!

    Comment by Dunno — 7:13 am August 1, 2012 #

  67. After reading the times article and it saying that the temp workers to be hired could be permanent made me quite happy. When greedy people can let the street run with shit is bad business. No reason someone who drives around pulling a lever should be making 98k+ (benefits included). It’s a job anyone can do and is not specialized. GO REPLACEMENT WORKERS!

    Comment by JD — 7:40 am August 1, 2012 #

  68. @ MIWS – Awesome! :) :)

    Comment by Jtk — 7:50 am August 1, 2012 #

  69. Is it asking too much for the City of Seattle & Waste Management to get on the same page? The city web site clearly states to put out garbage, recycling & yard waste. The Waste Management web site quoted above clearly states that ONLY Marysville will receive recycling & yard waste service and that Seattle will receive garbage only!! Ignoring all issues with respect to unions, who is directing this fiasco, the City or Waste Management? If it is Waste Management, then the City should cut back on the number of employees in the Public Utilities Department!!

    Comment by flynlo — 8:33 am August 1, 2012 #

  70. WHY do so many here blame the striking employees, when management’s as much to blame? The employees have no contract, how are they supposed to work?

    Trash collectors are are our neighbors! Seattle residents supporting families and working hard HERE picking up our TRASH for god’s sake, while fat cat CEO David Steiner sits at his desk in freaking Houston making 5 MILLION DOLLARS PER YEAR! Cashing our utility checks and laughing while our garbage piles up!

    Comment by Dont be so IGNORANT — 8:53 am August 1, 2012 #

  71. I do wonder about the experience of the replacement drivers. I was driving south on California north of the junction yesterday when a WM garbage truck had the north bound traffic stopped while he was trying to back into a driveway near a business. He looked like he didn’t have much experience with the truck because he kept hitting the bushes that along side the building. He kept moving forward then backing up and hitting the bushes. I’m sure he got in eventually but I didn’t see it because I kept driving. They may have some experience but not as much as WM would like us to believe.

    I know people are frustrated with not getting their garbage and yard waste / recycling picked up but this might be a good time to really look at how much stuff we are throwing out every week. It is amazing to me how much and how quickly things have piled up. Maybe we need to look at how we can cut down on waste. It doesn’t go away just because they pick it up, it just goes to a big old pile somewhere else where it sits and in many cases never goes away.

    People think the union should just settle for whatever WM is offering but is it really fair that the yard waste / recycling people get less that the garbage people? They do exactly the same job. Do you think they are overpaid to begin with? Well I might agree with you but whose fault is that in the first place? It’s WM fault. They are the ones who agreed to pay the garbage folks so much money in the first place. How would you feel if at your job someone else was getting $9 a hour or more than you for exactly the same job? Neither the Union or WM look good in this situation. The union is using scare tactic phone calls to residents and WM is refusing to go back to the table. Nothing is going to get better until WM agrees to go back to the table.

    I don’t believe in crossing picket lines but I also understand that people need jobs out there and some of those people driving the trucks have to make a decision about feeding their families and crossing a picket line. It’s never an easy decision and if you haven’t been in their shoes then you can’t judge them. What I’m getting at is treat them with respect. They will have their own conscience to deal with when this is all over with.

    I think people have forgotten what our country and jobs were like before unions. We have it good now but it wasn’t always that way. Our country needs unions. Treat those on strike with respect as well. They want to go back to work just as much as the public wants them too go back.

    Comment by Jennifer — 9:45 am August 1, 2012 #

  72. so it sounds like the City of Seattle’s fine applies to garbage only? I guess that is why WM is only going to try and pick up garbage today.

    which is interesting cause yard waste is the more disgusting of the 2, with the food waste and all… meat, eggshells, rotten bananas, etc. the garbage isn’t too bad, just parts of packaging that can’t be recycled (like the inner package of a cereal box), stuff you sweep off the floor and other boring things.

    Comment by sam-c — 10:16 am August 1, 2012 #

  73. Flynlo – there is a good reason for getting different instructions! The city wants you to put the bins out, because that is the ONLY way that they can hold Waste Management accountable for not picking them up. WM would prefer that you don’t put out the bins they can’t get to, for precisely the same reason. Isn’t that sweet of them?
    .
    To everyone who is taking WM’s side, you do realize that WM is lying to you? 98K is a lie. It’s a fantasy number that involves (1) counting WM’s overhead costs as employee benefits, (2) assuming the drivers work 60+ hours per week, all year long, and (3) pretending we are in year 2018..
    .
    The real truth is that the drivers are paid around $17.50/hour.
    .
    I’m pretty pro-union in most circumstances. There might be times when I’ll support management instead of a union, but it’s not going to be when management is lying to me and assumes all of us customers are just too dumb to use a calculator.
    .
    But then again, seeing how many posters are reflexively believing whatever WM tells them, maybe they are onto something…

    Comment by LE — 10:27 am August 1, 2012 #

  74. Happy to see Waste Management picked up my garbage yesterday. Driver seemed to know exactly what he was doing and how to negotiate that huge truck. Also got a robo call from the union, no class and in no way draws me to their cause. Instead of putting fines on WM they should fine the union for causing this whole thing.

    Comment by Chris — 12:24 pm August 1, 2012 #

  75. Our garbage was finally picked up today (thankfully) but yard waste and recycle are still sitting out there. We are Wednesday customers in Highland Park.

    Comment by Crystal — 3:22 pm August 1, 2012 #

  76. Received another Robo call this morning stating they’d be picking up today. Driver just picked up & did a fine job!

    Comment by J — 4:09 pm August 1, 2012 #

  77. Some of you out there are supporting the drivers. So in your mind how much pay would be enough for these drivers? 98gs, 100gs, 120gs total per year. Really how much is enough?

    Comment by boy — 4:51 pm August 1, 2012 #

  78. @jedifarfy – Should we all refuse to do our jobs because Bob’s got more sprinkles on his cupcake? The recycling drivers were ok with their pay until they found out that the garbage drivers were getting more, and now their pay is suddenly insufficient. It’s not unfair labor practices – it’s envy, and that’s a crappy reason to hold an entire metropolitan region hostage.

    Comment by MaggieR — 7:01 pm August 1, 2012 #

  79. @Joan D’Andrea –

    “This is highly irresponsible. Children are on vacation and out playing in yards and streets. What if an inexperienced driver fails to see one.”

    Say what you will about trash and recycling drivers’ pay, but I assure you it’s not in their contract to babysit your children. If you’re worried that the world might have bad drivers (that’s nothing new), then prudence suggests you should restrict your children’s play to areas not intended for vehicle traffic.

    Comment by MaggieR — 7:08 pm August 1, 2012 #

  80. @Jennifer –
    “I think people have forgotten what our country and jobs were like before unions. We have it good now but it wasn’t always that way. Our country needs unions.”

    We’ve forgotten because it was nearly a century ago. They were needed at that time – they served great purpose in shining a light on unfair labor practices and granting some power to those with none. Laws were enacted, changed, and strengthened as a result. We should always honor the good that unions did in those days.

    I’d argue that their purpose has been skewed in the last 50 years or so. Their main focus is no longer unfair/unsafe working conditions, it’s now all about maximizing trickle-down. As a labor-represented engineer (against my will, I might add), I’m restricted from engaging in a direct bargaining relationship with my employer; that is, even though I work harder, achieve better results, and add more value to the product and company, the union prevents my salary from reflecting that in comparison to my peers. Just sayin’ – there are 2 sides to that coin.

    Comment by MaggieR — 7:16 pm August 1, 2012 #

  81. @MaggieR — I agree that there are two sides to that coin. If someone is lucky enough to work for a fair employer then lucky them, they may not need a union. How about the people who are fired because someone else wants their job? How about the people who are made to work in unsafe conditions and know if they say anything they will lose their job? How about the people who make less but a friend of the boss or relative makes much more doing the exact same job? How about the people who are told if they even think of unionizing they will be fired. How about the people who work more than 8 hours but aren’t paid overtime? How about the people who don’t get any paid vacation off? I could go on and on. Sure there are laws to protect these people but most people are afraid to take any action against their employers or don’t know how or don’t have the money. If you think these situations don’t exist anymore then you are very disconnected from a major part of the workforce. Just ask anyone in labor type jobs I assure you that most are happy to have a union. I’m sorry that you don’t like being in a union. I am in a union as well. It doesn’t always seem fair when you work harder than others and someone with more seniority keeps their job or gets rewards and you don’t. Nothing is perfect. However if you think your company has loyalty to you then you are misguided. If not for the union you could be gone for whatever reason they decided regardless if you are a good worker or not. Oh and those benefits you get, you can thank your union for those. Your company doesn’t have to provide them…there are many ways around that and they certainly, without a union, can make you pay whatever they want out of your paycheck towards medical. I’m not saying unions are perfect but they have their place and they are needed by many in this country.

    Comment by Jennifer — 9:01 am August 2, 2012 #

  82. @Maggie: totally agree with you. Unions have served their purpose. I think it’s wrong for your union (who supposedly acts out of concern for you) to limit you from receiving a pay that reflects your contribution (because the other union members might get jealous and then everyone will have to get paid more).

    I don’t need someone to strong-arm my employer into paying me well. My coworkers and I get paid according to the results we produce. If we feel that we aren’t being treated fairly, we speak up. We don’t have someone fight our battles for us. I don’t need a third party to keep my job or to limit my potential. If we’re as indispensable as we think we are, they listen. If not…then we probably ought to reassess what we assume our value really is.

    Comment by Brandon McBride — 10:52 am August 8, 2012 #

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