Waste Management will not provide residential garbage and recycle collection in Kirkland Tuesday, according to the company website, as truck drivers of Teamsters Local 117 stepped up their strike efforts by expanding pickets to a Skagit County facility.
The Waste Management website reported progress by the company in serving commercial customers using substitute drivers, but listed Kirkland and the following as not receiving collection on Tuesday:
WUTC East Redmond/Duvall/Carnation
WUTC Federal Way/Auburn
WUTC Lynnwood/Alderwood/North Bothell
On previous days when no residential collection was planned, the City of Kirkland, which contracts with Waste Management for waste collection, has advised residents to bring in their waste containers. An automated phone message to Kirkland residents Tuesday said the company would double-up on collection next week.
Meantime, Local 117 issued a press release saying it had set up pickets lines at a Waste Management facility in Burlington, and that the 53 drivers there from Local 231 had refused to cross them. That is likely to mean disruptions of service in north Snohomish and Skagit counties, areas that are not part of the current labor dispute.
“We are acting in solidarity with our Teamster brothers and sisters at Local 117 to send a clear message to Waste Management to return to the bargaining table immediately,” Leonard Kelley, Secretary-Treasurer of Local 231, said in the press release.
Robin Freedman, a spokeswoman for Waste Management, which maintains its , expressed disappointment in the expansion of pickets.
"It's a really unfortunate situation," she said. "I can't believe union leadership would make this decision, especially if they want to get back to the bargaining table. But we are focusing our efforts on providing service to our customers and today (Tuesday) we'll have a third wave of substitute drivers on the street."
Waste Management is bringing in experienced, non-union company drivers from other areas of the country to drive the Local 117 routes, and also as been arranging to hire qualified local replacement drivers.
The union late Sunday sent a contract proposal to the company via a federal mediator, but it went nowhere. "We reviewed it all yesterday (Monday), and it was far afield from our last, best offer," Freedman said.
The spokeswoman confirmed that Kirkland residents would not receive service on Tuesday.
The 153 recycle and yard waste drivers of Local 117 claiming Waste Management refused to bargain in good faith. Their previous contract expired at the end of May. Garbage truck drivers of Local 174, who negotiate their contract separately, are honoring the picket lines. Waste Management countered that it had offered a of about $98,000 per year at the end of a six-year contract.
Kirkland Patch has calls in to the union and will update this story when it responds.
For all of Kirkland Patch's continuing coverage of the dispute, click here.