Garbage strike: Living with a can full of stinking meaton July 26, 2012 @ 12:37 pm (Updated: 7:02 pm - 7/26/12 )
Dori says they just emptied out the garage freezer and he's pretty sure the big green truck won't be rolling down his street until maybe next week.
Waste Management spokesperson Robin Friedman tells Dori he should simply double the load next collection day.
"If your service day is Friday and it's missed tomorrow, the following Friday we pick up double the load at no extra charge," she says.
A sight you might not be seeing for awhile. (AP photo)
That answer doesn't work for Dori, who says he nearly hits the maximum for yard waste, filling 6-10 cans, for each pick up (Note: Dori has a big yard.)
This means Dori could potentially be dealing with 12-20 cans full of rotting food scraps and grass before someone picks them up.
"I can't take a day off from KIRO and tell my bosses I'll work twice as hard tomorrow, pay me for the day I don't show up to work," Dori explains to Friedman.
There isn't a satisfactory answer for Dori, who may have to make a few dump runs. But Friedman says she shares in the frustration and hopes her company and the driver's union can quickly come to an agreement.
"When do we get a pro-rated discount?" asks Dori.
"We're not going to see that," replies Friedman.
If the strike lasts two weeks, she says they'll have drivers out there to pick up your rubbish.
Dori's not just picking on Waste Management. He doesn't understand what a guy making $17 per hour plus benefits has to complain about.
Brenda Wiest, with Teamsters Local 117, says the strike is about more than just the money.
"It's about the process, it's about fairness, and it's about lawful bargaining," says Wiesr.
She also defends drivers saying that not anyone can do their job. They have specific licenses and training and the job is hard on the body.
The union says the company is trying to unilaterally change working conditions, is threatening to retaliate against workers, and is bargaining in bad-faith. It also says that they want to be able to get their recycling/yard waste drivers pay to match that of garbage drivers, who reportedly earn $9 to $11 more per hour.
The 153 recycle and yard waste drivers have been working without a contract since May 31. Replacement drivers have been ready to take over since a strike vote was taken June 2.
You can call 1-800-230-7418 to report recycle, yard waste, and garbage service disruptions and visit www.seattletrashwatch.org for updates and information.
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