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Trash collection strike
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Strike to affect garbage collection in Bellevue, Kent, and Lynnwood

Garbage won't be collected in Bellevue, Kent, and Lynnwood on Friday. (Kai Schreiber, Flickr Creative Commons)

A strike in Massachusetts will affect trash pick-up in Western Washington for a second day.

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A representative for the striking East Coast Teamsters says roughly 250 Republic Services drivers in Bellevue, Kent, and Lynnwood are not working Friday in solidarity.

Republic employees from Massachusetts have flown to Washington to picket the company’s Medina offices, in hopes of getting Bill Gates’s attention. Gates owns a partial share in the company.

“He owns 32 percent of the company — you figure somebody owns that much of a stock, they’d want to be involved in what’s going on with how they’re treating their people,” said Republic employee Bernie Mullen.

Among their priorities, drivers are pushing for better health care, higher wages, and an improved retirement package.

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“This is the fifth most dangerous job in the country — getting hurt constantly with the subpar health care that we have, that’s a big thing for all of us,” said Mullen.

Massachusetts workers have been on strike since August 29. Republic handles garbage collection for 169 total cities in Washington state.

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