Waste Management drivers voted to ratify a new six-year contract Thursday, ending a weeklong strike that left trash and recycling piled up in Kirkland, Redmond and several other nearby cities.
A news release from Teamsters Local 117, the union representing the yard waste and recycling truck drivers, said the drivers would begin resuming their pickup service to King and Snohomish counties later today. Garbage truck drivers, memher of Local 174, which honored the 117 picket lines, returned to work Thursday morning.
John MacGillivray, City of Kirkland solid waste program lead, applauded the end of the strike and said residents should resume putting out their waste containers on their scheduled pickup day.
"It will probably be a partial pickup day today for recycle and yard waste," he said. "If (residents) are missed today, we expect them to get pick-up tomorrow and we will hold Waste Management to that. The first week of a strike like this is tolerable, but the second week is not. So we're really fortunate that both sides came to an agreement."
The union's leadership had fully recommended contract approval, according to the release.
“This deal recognizes Seattle-area recycle and yard waste drivers for the tremendous job they do in performing difficult, dangerous work that protects the public health and the environment,” Tracey A. Thompson, Secretary-Treasurer of Teamsters Local 117, said in the news release. “Recycling is our future. We thank our drivers for their critical role in keeping our cities clean and for helping to make our region one of the leaders in the industry.”
Waste Management's 153 recycling and yard waste drivers after contract negotiations between the company and Teamsters Local 117 stalled. Many of Waste Management's garbage truck drivers subsequently .
Much of the dispute centered around a $9-per-hour disparity between what recycling/yard waste drivers and refuse collection drivers made under the previous contract.
The news release from Teamsters Local 117 did not contain details about the new contract. Patch has put calls into representatives for both sides and will update this post as soon as more information becomes available.