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Recycling and yard waste pickup for nearly 300,000 Waste Management customers could be disrupted this week after contract talks failed to produced a new contract for drivers. (AP Photo/file)

Union recycling and yard waste drivers preparing for labor trouble

Recycling and yard waste pickup for nearly 300,000 Waste Management customers could be disrupted this week after contract talks failed to produced a new contract for drivers.

After the union failed to even consider the company's last and final offer over the weekend, there's word Waste Management is considering a lockout of its recycling and yard waste truck drivers.

The action could impact service to nearly 300,000 customers.

Waste Management had replacement drivers practicing routes last week, but there has been no lockout so far.

"We hope that the company doesn't engage in some sort of lockout," says union spokesperson Brenda Wiest with Teamsters Local 117. "That would just be very harmful to the community and just harmful in general, but it does seem it is aggressively preparing for some sort of labor dispute or lockout."

Union drivers said they have no plans to strike.

Should there be a lockout, garbage service could be disrupted too. Garbage haulers, who are under contract, likely wouldn't cross any picket lines.

Waste Management's Robin Freedman said it has do what it can to maintain service during any potential labor dispute.


Chris Sullivan, KIRO Radio Reporter
Chris loves the rush of covering breaking news and works hard to try to make sense of it all while telling stories about real people in extraordinary circumstances.
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