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Waste Management to cities of Arlington, Marysville: 'Critical services' will remain if strike occurs

SNOHOMISH COUNTY — Garbage and recycling service for North County residents could be affected if negotiations between Waste Management and unionized garbage haulers do not result in a new contract.

Representatives from Teamsters Local 174 — a union of workers that represent Waste Management and Allied Waste — voted on Sunday, March 30, that they could strike starting Thursday, April 1 if the two sides cannot hash out a new labor contract.

If 174 strikes, Teamsters Local 117 would likely strike, according to reports. Both unions haul either garbage or yard waste.

The cities of Arlington and Marysville both contract with the garbage and recycling provider. All residents who live within the cities of Arlington and Marysville are required to subscribe to recycling services provided by Waste Management.

Garbage pickup is also provided by the company to those who live in all of Arlington. The city of Marysville collects garbage from all residents who live in the city limits with the exceptions of the Sunnyside and central annexation areas where the garbage is collected by Waste Management.

According to a memo sent to both cities from Waste Management, the waste pick-up and recycling provider is currently fine-tuning its contingency plan in case a strike does take place.

The memo states that Waste Management will continue to provide all "critical services" to its customers starting on April 1 should a strike occur.

By Monday, April 5, the corporation should be "close to normal operations, with the possibility of reduced residential recycling collection service (every other week)."

Waste Management will also make use of an "out-dialer" service to call customers with service information, and it will continually update its Web site, the memo said.

The company serves more than 1 million Snohomish and King county residents, including customers who live in Seattle, Auburn, Bothell, Burien, Federal Way, Kent, Newcastle, Maple Valley, Renton, Kirkland, Redmond, Issaquah, Duvall, Carnation, Mill Creek, Darrington and Granite Falls.

Numerous unincorporated areas in both counties are also covered through Waste Management.

The unions are demanding an increase of 17 percent in compensation over the next four years, including wages, pension, health and welfare benefits and contributions toward a retiree welfare trust plan, Waste Management representatives said.

The corporation's latest proposal would provide the average driver with a wage and benefits package worth more than $100,000 per year, those representatives said.

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