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Garbage Strike: Day Seven

Ann Dornfeld
07/31/2012

With the garbage strike almost a week old, Waste Management has begun picking up trash at some Seattle apartments and businesses. The company brought in more replacement workers to step up trash collection.

Meanwhile, the Teamsters union that represents the striking recycling drivers has made a new offer to Waste Management.



TRANSCRIPT

The details of the union offer have not been released. But out on the picket line, striking recycling hauler Sam Cote says drivers have a long list of concerns.

Cote: "There's all sorts of issues. There's working conditions, there's the grievance procedure, and there's economics. And we still have a lot of outstanding issues that need to be resolved, and we're getting there, but Waste Management just doesn't want to come back to the table and bargain in good faith."

Cote was picketing a Waste Management transfer station in south Seattle. When replacement drivers pull up to the gate, they're stopped for a minute by a gauntlet of glaring, scoffing strikers from the Local 117.

Cote: "Let's get the professionals back out on the road and get these scabs off the road that are ruining our community and hittin' cars. This guy hit a girder over here and almost knocked it into that trackhoe out there. I mean, somebody could get killed. This isn't safe."

Waste Management has until Wednesday to restore trash, recycling and yard waste collection if it wants to avoid fines of up to $1.25 million per day in Seattle alone.

The strike is in effect in dozens of other cities in the region. Those cities could also impose huge fines.

Tim Croll is the solid waste director for Seattle Public Utilities. He says the city intends to collect.

Croll: "Thursday morning, crack of dawn, 6:00 a.m., we're gonna have nine inspectors out going through the Wednesday service area recording any misses, especially any misses of a whole block. And that's where the big fines will come from."

That's if the strike isn't resolved yet.

Waste Management didn't respond to requests for comment. But the company has said as long as workers are off the job, it won't go back to the bargaining table.

I'm Ann Dornfeld, KUOW News.

© Copyright 2012, KUOW

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