News of a proposal sent to Waste Management on behalf of local striking recycling haulers is not being received well by union representatives.
According to union spokeswoman Brenda Wiest, the proposal was sent by a federal mediator, not directly from Teamsters Local 117. She said they have not received an official response from Waste Management, but the company has broke news of it to the media.
"By thwarting the process by talking about this in the media instead of utilizing the mediator it just signals again that Waste Management is not interested in using the process to get talks going," said Wiest.
Waste Management officials said they cannot comment on specifics or the negotiation process.
Trash is beginning to pile up around the region, with no trash service for almost a week. Monday is the sixth day of the recycling strike in King and Snohomish counties. Garbage haulers are supporting the strike by not crossing picket lines.
There are still no plans to make collections in residential neighborhoods other than in Renton where residential collection is planned.
Vehicles that crossed picket lines Monday were all briefly stopped. But a bus of replacement drivers from around the country made it into work Monday and will help with pick-up service, focusing mostly on businesses and restaurants.
At Red Mill, a busy burger place in Seattle's Phinney Ridge neighborhood, dumpsters are overflowing. They should have been picked up on Thursday.
"We want to get this taken care of, get the strike over, and get back to regular pick up," said owner Michael Shepherd. "This has to be taken care of, it is out of control. It's a hazard. It's nasty.”
Waste Management and Teamsters Union 117, the union representing recycling drivers, have been at a stalemate over returning to work. The union has said it won't stop picketing until the company resumes talks. The company says it will resume talks when the picket lines come down.
One of the biggest point of contention is pay. Recycling drivers are asking to be paid as much as garbage haulers, amounting to around an $8 an hour increase.
"We just want to be treated equal along with yard waste and garbage haulers," said veteran recycling truck driver Andy Young. "We are one big team here, so why not play as one big team.”
The City of Seattle has notified Waste Management that it could face fees and fines totaling $1.25 million per day if collection services do not resume by this Wednesday, Aug. 1.
Waste Management stated through a press release, that it stands by what it is offering drivers for compensation. The company expressed that it wants regular service restored as soon as possible. In the meantime, substitute drivers will continue to be brought in.
Renton will receive residential garbage collection service due to the city's unique every other week (EOW) collection frequency, the company said.
What customers need to know
Get the complete garbage and recycling pick-up schedule on the Waste Management website or call the customer service center at 1-800-592-9995.
About 220,000 customers are affected by the strike.
The striking recycle drivers are with Teamsters Local 117, fighting for better salary and benefits in a contract negotiation that has dragged on for months.
They would like Waste Management to raise their salaries to meet the pay of garbage drivers. With overtime, recycle drivers make about $58,000 a year. If requests are met, they could make as much as $98,000 a year with overtime.
Allied Waste customers and the King County Transfer Stations are not affected by the strike.
Negotiation updates are also posted on the Teamsters Local 117 website, www.seattletrashwatch.org.
The Washington Utilities and Transportation Committee has said they will continue providing service to only "critical" facilities, such as hospitals, nursing homes and restaurants, without interruption.
KING 5's Natalie Swaby, the Associated Press contributed to this report.