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UPDATE | Garbage haulers strike, service in Marysville and Arlington uncertain
SNOHOMISH COUNTY — Garbage haulers in Marysville and Arlington have officially gone on strike.
Teamsters Local 174, which represents drivers who work for Waste Management, announced Wednesday, April 21, that they will cease providing service to about 1 million customers in Snohomish and King counties.
Those drivers have been working without a labor contract since April 1, when the union signed a no-strike agreement with the garbage and recycling collection company. Both sides have claimed that the opposition has refused to meet or bargain since that agreement was reached.
Officials from the city of Arlington and Marysville said that Waste Management has assured them that service within both cities should not be affected.
Terry Hawley, Marysville public works operations manager, said that cities were informed Thursday that Waste Management would be utilizing alternate drivers to provide collection service.
A statement on Waste Management's website states that if customers' yard waste, garbage or recycling containers were not emptied, they should keep uncollected material until the next collection day for each container.
Extra material will be collected at that time for no charge.
"We regret this inconvenience, and appreciate your cooperation," the statement reads.
Michael Gonzales, spokesman for Teamsters Local 174, said that the length of the strike will depend on Waste Management.
Gonzales said the union feels that the company has violated a number of labor laws.
"If they remedy these situations, I'm sure we can get back to work fairly quickly," said Gonzales, adding that if customers want the strike to end, they should contact their local city officials.
Waste Management officials have said that they have replacement drivers on standby should a strike occur.
The cities of Arlington and Marysville both contract with Waste Management. All residents who live within the cities of Arlington and Marysville are required to subscribe to recycling services provided by the company.
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.
Customers can visit Waste Management's website for service updates.