Waste Management announces tentative deal to end strike

August 1, 2012 at 6:57 pm | In Waste Management strike, West Seattle news | 24 Comments

Just out of the WSB inbox – a tentative agreement in the recycling/yard-waste truck drivers’ strike (supported by garbage-truck drivers) that started a week ago:

Following a confidential meeting between the parties’ lead negotiators, Waste Management and Teamsters Local 117 announced that they have reached a tentative agreement on a new 6-year contract.

Teamster leadership and the bargaining committee will fully recommend that members approve the new contract at the ratification vote scheduled for 9:00am on Thursday, August 2, 2012 at the Union Hall in Tukwila.

Garbage drivers will return to work in the morning and begin servicing their regular Thursday collection routes. However, due to the timing of the ratification vote, recycling and yard waste collection will be limited.

Please see www.wmnorthwest.com for more information.

“We are extremely pleased that we reached an agreement on a new contract that delivers a solid compensation package to our hardworking and professional drivers”, said Robin Freedman, spokesperson for Waste Management. “Although regular drivers will be back on their routes tomorrow it will take time to fully recover from this unfortunate situation. We appreciate the community’s patience during this time.”

“Teamster drivers work hard and deserve fair compensation for the important work that they perform,” announced Tracey Thompson, Secretary Treasurer for Teamster Local 117. “We are pleased to have negotiated a contract that recognizes the professionalism of our members.”

More to come.

THURSDAY NOTE: Still awaiting additional details; we’ll start a separate story page whenever more information about the strike’s aftermath is made public today.


  1. I wonder how much my garbage rates will go up with this agreement? Saw a comparison of other cities and how much there collectors got paid and of the three cities shown we were the highest.

    Comment by Celeste17 — 7:11 pm August 1, 2012 #

  2. As far as I know, the contract with the city is not a “cost plus.” And, with the Waste Management executive suite skimming $20 million a year of taxpayer funds for themselves, it certainly shouldn’t be. Any additional cost from the new contract can probably easily be absorbed from that golden compensation package WM execs lavish upon themselves.

    Comment by PSPS — 7:42 pm August 1, 2012 #

  3. The commercials of WM looking for replacement drivers scared them into a deal. My pickup is
    Monday and it is going to be a hot weekend. Hope I get credit for the missed service?

    Comment by Gee — 8:34 pm August 1, 2012 #

  4. I hope they dont forget about the Wednesday pick up, which has been twice now…..

    Comment by Here — 8:40 pm August 1, 2012 #

  5. So which Seattle neighborhoods got priority today, anyone know?

    Comment by Xavier — 8:40 pm August 1, 2012 #

  6. Those multi-millionare CEOs should try picking up trash themselves for a change and see how hard and dangerous it is. And Seattle isn’t a cheap place to live. Too bad more of what we pay doesn’t go to the ones who do the work, instead of to the guys in suits who sit in offices “managing.”

    Unions. The folks who brought you the weekend.

    Comment by LivesInWS — 8:43 pm August 1, 2012 #

  7. Will we still be able to take 6 bags to the ‘dump’ for free this weekend?

    Comment by pam — 8:52 pm August 1, 2012 #

  8. West Seattle do these drivers a favor and give them a hand by pulling not not pushing your recycle container to the alley or curbside thereby making their job a little easier. Think about it a minute.

    Comment by DF — 8:57 pm August 1, 2012 #

  9. amen, LivesinWS… Have had only great service from the WM collectors, picking up our trash, recycling and yard waste these many years. As vital service to our community as police or metro drivers. Glad the strike is over and wish them all the best!

    Comment by Your WS Neighbor — 9:06 pm August 1, 2012 #

  10. Pam – we hope to get some of those questions clarified tomorrow, if not tonight. So far the only official announcement has been the one we published here; we’re also watching the city, WM, and Teamsters pages for any additional info, but nothing to date. – TR

    Comment by WSB — 9:12 pm August 1, 2012 #

  11. Nice, I hope they got a good deal for their drivers!

    Comment by cascadianone — 9:18 pm August 1, 2012 #

  12. DF, I believe I read on a city or WM website that they prefer you to leave the handle on the containers facing away from the truck. Probably because you’re more likely to injure your back pulling on the carts than pushing them. Don’t know what the drivers prefer.

    Comment by rocky raccoon — 9:28 pm August 1, 2012 #

  13. I’m grateful my trash gets picked up (even if I pay for it). There are other places in the World that don’t have this service.

    Comment by yes — 10:01 pm August 1, 2012 #

  14. IMO-
    Mayor McGinn’s eagerness to invoke the
    “mllion dollar a day clause” of the City’s contract with WM must have helped.
    I hope the workers get what they wanted.
    It’s a job I physically couldn’t do.
    It’s hard work, and it’s essential work.
    They do it in all kinds of weather.
    They earn their paychecks.

    Comment by old timer — 11:31 pm August 1, 2012 #

  15. The container lids are clearly marked with arrows/instructions indicating how to position the container by the curb.

    Comment by thegodshavegonecrazy — 1:00 am August 2, 2012 #

  16. Woohooo!!! Way to go!

    Comment by jedifarfy — 5:05 am August 2, 2012 #

  17. Did SPU invoke the million dollar penalty for no trash collection for a week?

    Comment by aj — 6:41 am August 2, 2012 #

  18. It is often stated that it was the unions who gave us the weekend–and I don’t doubt that their influence was important–but history isn’t quite as simple as that. I believe what *technically* gave us the weekend was the 1938 Fair Labor Standards Act, which said a regular work week was 40 hours, and employers had to pay time and a half above that (effectively limiting the tendency to require people to work greater than 40 hours). This bill was written and championed by Senator Hugo Black (who also gave us the minimum wage). It is fair to say that it was Black who gave us the weekend, although certainly influenced by the actions by the unions and their cause.

    Comment by bridge to somewhere — 9:05 am August 2, 2012 #

  19. Yes BTS, the Unions can’t take credit for everything employment wise. Notice how, even when complaining about upper management paychecks, they’re not unashamed to “get their own” pay day. All of course, on the public’s dime since we pay them, union or not.

    Comment by george — 10:49 am August 2, 2012 #

  20. It’s too bad if WM gave in. These guys were already overpaid IMO.

    Comment by Gary — 4:47 pm August 2, 2012 #

  21. Unions were important in 1938. Times have changed and they are not as relevant In today’s world.

    Comment by Pepper — 8:02 pm August 2, 2012 #

  22. Unions involved with delivering public services are a scandal.
    FDR was dead set against them, and what they just did to us rate payers again is what he predicted.

    Comment by Ouch! — 11:54 pm August 2, 2012 #

  23. I agree with some points made; yes, trash collection is essential, yes, I imagine is hard work, yes, workers deserve to be paid fairly. HOWEVER, trash collection is not free, no one is volunteering to pick it up, it’s something we PAY for, and as such I fully expect my payment to render the agreed services. Services not provided should result in a refund or comparable reparations. Period. In short, I’d like to know how they plan to sort the matter out for the customers, the people really footing the bill for this agreement.

    Comment by K2 — 5:50 pm August 3, 2012 #

  24. These guys don’t want to work? We can find people who will. Let the market decide what the rate will be.

    Comment by Rusty Olson — 10:37 pm August 3, 2012 #

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