Workers Strike at Waste Management Operations in Seattle Area

Waste Management Inc. waste and recycling customers in the Seattle area are without service after Teamsters workers went on strike July 25.

Teamsters Local 117 went on strike that day and Local 174 fully honored the strike the following day, suspending service, said Robin Freedman, communications, with Waste Management in Kirkland, Wash., in an interview. She said 153 recycling workers and 350 waste drivers are on strike, affecting the company’s service in King and Senohomish counties.

According to a Teamsters news release, the National Labor Relations Board is investigating a number of violations committed by Waste Management, including bad-faith bargaining, coercing and direct dealing with its employees, threatening to retaliate against workers and unilaterally changing working conditions.

“Waste Management has forced this labor dispute through its blatant disregard of U.S. law,” said Local 117 Secretary-Treasurer Tracey Thompson.

Freedman said the company made their best contract offer in early June, and the union didn’t vote on the proposal. It would increase the average worker’s salary from $58,000 to $68,000 by the end of the six-year contract, with a total compensation value of $98,000.

She said as far as service in the Seattle area the company is monitoring the situation day by day.

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