Homeowners Sue Chicago Haulers Over Strike

Chicago -- A group of residents in the Chicago area are suing Waste Management of Illinois, Groot Recycling and Waste, Onyx Waste Services, Homewood Disposal Service and Allied Waste Services (including BFI) over October 2003's 10-day garbage strike. The residents say they should receive credits for garbage pickups they paid for but never received because of the strike, which affected nearly 8 million business and residential customers.

According to the attorneys who filed the class action lawsuit, the people affected deserve monetary damages between $4 to $100. However, Bill Plunkett, spokesman for the Chicago Area Refuse Haulers group that was formed to negotiate with unionized Teamsters workers, the customers eventually received their pickups so are not owed any money. Moreover, he says, the waste companies had to put in overtime and incurred the cost of managing the garbage that had piled up.