The 153 striking truck drivers of Teamsters Local 117 and Waste Management failed to agree Thursday on a plan to resume contract negotiations on Saturday.
Both sides issued press releases after Local 117 proposed through a federal mediator that talks resume Saturday. Waste Management said it would meet with the union if pickets were ended and drivers returned to work.
The union accused Waste Management of sabotaging the bargaining process, saying it would take down pickets on Monday if the company was willing to bargain in good faith.
The drivers, working without a contract since the previous one expired at the end of May, , accusing the company of unfair labor practices and refusing to bargain in good faith.
Meantime, King County officials and mayors of affected cities -- Seattle, Redmond, Renton and Kirkland -- issued a press release urging the two sides to work quickly toward a resolution of the dispute.
“Kirkland residents give high marks for the garbage and recycling services that they receive,” said Kirkland Mayor Joan McBride. “We are hopeful that both parties will reach an agreement swiftly so that services can resume in Kirkland and other impacted communities.”
Redmond Mayor John Marchione said: “I urge both the company and the union to resolve this quickly and end the disruption of this important community service.”
Here is the full statement released Thursday by Waste Management:
"Today, Teamsters 117 contacted Waste Management via a federal mediator to continue negotiations on Saturday, July 28. We are prepared to do this provided the Union leadership discontinues the “pickets and allows our drivers to return to work.
Unfortunately, the Union leadership refuses to allow our drivers to return to work and refuses to ensure uninterrupted service next week."
Here is the full press release from Local 117
"Waste Management continues to sabotage the bargaining process by placing conditions on resuming negotiations and refusing to commit to bargain in good faith.
Teamsters Local 117 reached out to the company though a federal mediator on Thursday and proposed that the parties meet on Saturday, July 28.
The Union agreed to take down picket lines on Monday if the company demonstrated a willingness to engage in meaningful bargaining on Saturday.
Waste Management would not commit to bargain in good faith. The company also attached conditions to Saturday’s meeting with the Union, including a demand that workers immediately forgo their lawful right to picket and provide a seven-day notice before resuming any picketing activity.
"In our last two meetings, Waste Management committed to bargaining in good faith and failed to do so,” said Tracey A. Thompson, Secretary-Treasurer of Teamsters Local 117. “We're supposed to trust them now and take down the pickets? Before relinquishing our rights, we need a full-fledged commitment from the company to bargain in good faith.”
For previous Kirkland Patch coverage about the dispute, click here.