Waste Management drivers’ strike: Friday update – still no pickups

FIRST REPORT, 7:32 AM: As promised, we’ll publish a new story each day for whatever developments happen that day during the course of the strike by Teamsters-represented drivers who collect recycling, yard waste, and garbage for Waste Management. The walkout started at midday Wednesday. This morning, the city has announced no pickup today either:

The strike by Teamster Union Local 117 recycling drivers continues, and Teamsters 174 garbage and yard drivers continue to honor the picket lines. Garbage, yard waste and recycling will not be collected from most Waste Management Friday customers today.

Waste Management is expected to increase limited collection service today, focusing on those accounts critical to public health and the environment.

Seattle Public Utilities (SPU) asks customers who are missed for collection today to put out their garbage, recycling and yard waste next Friday, Aug. 3. There will be no charge for additional items placed at the curb. Monday customers should put out their materials as normal.

The strike is affecting about 60 percent of the city, in Northwest and South Seattle. Teamster Local 117’s contract with Waste Management expired May 31. In Seattle, Local 117 represents only recycling drivers, and other drivers are covered by separate labor agreements.

Collections by CleanScapes, which covers about 40 percent of the city are not impacted by the strike.

SPU continues to urge Waste Management and the Teamsters to engage in good faith negotiations toward a speedy and successful outcome.

Under its contract with the city, Waste Management is required to continue services in the event of any disruption. Specifically, any missed collections due to any labor complications must be collected later in the week, or the following week. Waste Management will not be paid for any non-service.

The contract allows the city to deduct approximately $4,500 per day in payments to Waste Management for any services that are not completed the next day. For any interruptions that continue more than a week, contractors can also be fined substantially for service failure, up to $250,000 per day.

Protecting public health and safety continues to be the city’s top priority throughout this collection disruption.

SPU will provide updates as needed. Customers with solid waste service issues or concerns may call the Call Center at (206) 684-3000.

Customers with labor/union questions or concerns should contact Waste Management or Teamsters Local 117.

No new negotiations so far. The union says it offered to stop picketing Monday if WM would meet with them tomorrow; WM issued a statement yesterday saying that it would meet with the union if drivers went back to work first.

Meantime, the latest story on this will always be atop our BIG STORIES list on the sidebar for the duration of the strike. We also have created a coverage category with which all our stories will be tagged, so you can always find the newest information, and archived coverage, via this link.

ADDED 11:31 AM: An update from our partners at The Seattle Times – WM has brought in some “replacement workers.” Their coverage also includes some background on the dispute itself.

11 Replies to "Waste Management drivers' strike: Friday update - still no pickups"

  • Jiggers July 27, 2012 (9:14 am)

    The stink of it all.

  • DBP July 27, 2012 (9:54 am)

    There’s more to this story than just the fact that there’s strike. Tracy, do you have any info on what the issues involved are? Is the union asking for more money, better working conditions? What? I don’t need the details, but the broad outlines would be helpful. Thanks.

    • WSB July 27, 2012 (11:31 am)

      For our purposes here, our baseline is to tell people whether they can expect trash/recycling/yard waste pickup on any given day or not. I’m adding a link to the Times’ latest story, which includes some background as well as the new development of some “replacement workers” being brought in …

  • JD July 27, 2012 (11:11 am)

    Why didn’t WM ramp up in preparation of the strike like they did previously to fill the slots w/ Non-Union members. Would have fixed so many of the problems.

  • Ken July 27, 2012 (5:05 pm)

    My cans are in the alley all the time. I will bring them in behind the locked fence if they send scabs to do a pickup.
    I have my own compost heap that can use what yard wast and food waste I have and dry trash and recycling, carefully washed, flattened and sorted can be stored indefinitely.

    Hang on Teamsters.

  • rpo July 27, 2012 (6:12 pm)

    Wow… Waste Management is a for profit corporation based in Houston, Texas…

    Why isn’t this a public utility?

  • Mark July 27, 2012 (6:20 pm)

    Do you know if the city will let us drop our garbage for free at he dump?

  • MB July 27, 2012 (6:21 pm)

    If they actually did decent job picking up my trash I think I would support them. However, they are simply awful. They come at irregular times, they leave trash all over, they leave the can and lid in the street (tossed without care). They don’t deserve it. They would have done a whole lot better being nice to their customers before pulling this stunt. I am a union employee. I support GOOD union work, not the bad stuff.

  • Doug July 27, 2012 (9:33 pm)

    They make twice what the average CDL driver makes, and have great benefits, for basically unskilled work. Usually I have nothing but support for the unions, bur for this, I have no sympathy.

  • sam-c July 28, 2012 (9:12 pm)

    a shout out to the really great neighbors you can find in West Seattle. one of our neighbors, a contractor, was making a dump run after finishing up some remodel work on Friday. he stopped by our house and a couple others (I think) to offer to take our garbage to the transfer station. great neighbors here!

  • Brandon McBride August 8, 2012 (10:54 am)


    That’s excellent. It’s great to have good neighbors around to help you out.

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