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Ohio garbage strike cuts off Seattle area service

Allied Waste/Republic workers are on strike in Youngstown, Ohio, and Wednesday morning they set up picket lines in Seattle, Lynnwood and Kent. (KIRO Radio Photo/File)

Allied Waste says service will resume as normal on Thursday for its Seattle area customers. Garbage and recycling pickup was interrupted Wednesday while local union workers are honoring a picket line set up by workers from Ohio.

Twenty-three Allied Waste/Republic landfill workers are on strike in Youngstown, Ohio, and Wednesday morning they set up picket lines in Seattle, Lynnwood and Kent. Local union drivers are refusing to cross those lines so thousands of customers were without service Wednesday.

"From our workers' perspective, if there are workers being harmed that are in the Teamster's union, they're going to stand in solidarity with them if they come out here and ask us to do so," Local 117's Brenda Wiest told KIRO Radio's Dori Monson Show. "These members have been bargaining unsuccessful for six months [...] many of the things that the employer is suggesting are things that would harm our members."

Ohio landfill worker Darrell Zeh has four workers in the Seattle area creating picket lines at the three locations. Zeh said they're targeting Seattle because Bill Gates lives here, and he owns 25 percent of the company.

What does Zeh have to say to local customers now caught up in this labor dispute three-quarters of the way across the country? "I feel sorry that their trash won't be picked up," Zeh said. "We have to make a stand somewhere, and it won't last forever."

"We encourage customers to visit RepublicServicesNW website and click on their community in the drop-down tab at the center of the page. There they will find service updates throughout the day and evening," said Anne Laughlin, spokesperson for Republic Services.

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