10:19 PM UPDATE: Here’s the latest from the Times, saying WM is now advertising for replacement workers.
PREVIOUS REPORT, 4 PM: For the first time, Seattle Public Utilities has sent a news release alluding to the possibility of a solid-waste-pickup strike that would affect West Seattleites and hundreds of thousands of others. They’re not a party to the talks, though; Waste Management is in talks with Teamsters Local 174, whose members’ contract expires Wednesday night. No updates on the union site (though there’s related coverage on the site for Local 117, which represents Allied Waste drivers) nor on the WM site, but the latest update from our citywide-news partners at the Seattle Times says talks are continuing, with the help of a federal mediator; the company has said previously it would arrange for replacement workers if there’s a walkout. Meantime, the city’s news release boils down to “just keep doing what you’re doing” – read on for the full text:
With the possibility of a solid waste strike looming this week, Seattle Public Utilities (SPU) is asking its customers to continue putting out their garbage, recycling and yard waste on their normal pickup days, unless notified to do otherwise.
On Sunday, with their contract expiring on March 31, members of Teamsters Local 174 voted to give their negotiators authority to call a strike if contract negotiations with Waste Management reach an impasse.
Waste Management’s collection contract with Seattle covers about half of the city’s solid waste customers, in portions of northwest and south Seattle. Drivers in other areas of Seattle are covered by separate labor agreements and are not part of the current negotiations.
“The City of Seattle is not part of the negotiations between Waste Management and the Teamsters; however, we expect the two parties to continue good faith negotiations toward a speedy and successful outcome,” Seattle Public Utilities Acting Director Ray Hoffman said.
“Service delivery and the protection of public health and safety will continue to be the city’s top priority in the event of any solid waste collection disruption,” Hoffman said.
SPU will provide updates as needed. Customers with solid waste service problems may call the Call Center at (206) 684-3000.