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Waste Management ready for possibility of second strike
SNOHOMISH COUNTY — While Waste Management and Teamsters Local 174 have agreed to meet and bargain throughout next week, Waste Management remains on high alert, according to a release issued Friday, April 23.
Teamsters Local 174, the union that represents garbage haulers that serve Arlington and parts of Marysville, refused Waste Management’s request not to strike next week as a sign of good faith, therefore, Waste Management is continuing to focus on a contingency plan, the release said.
“It is imperative that we keep our focus on providing the best possible service to our customers throughout this process,” said Jackie Lang of Waste Management. “It is unfortunate that Teamsters are choosing to jeopardize collection again next week. The Union’s refusal seems to contradict their comments yesterday about returning to work out of concern for public health."
Contingency plans are extensive and include the use of Waste Management’s Green Team, made up of non-union drivers from around the Country, Lang said, adding that employees are on call should the Union decide to disrupt regular collection services.
In addition, the company will continue to run hiring ads in local newspapers in an effort the build a pipeline of qualified drivers in the Puget Sound area, Lang said.
As of Friday, Waste Management has received over 2,800 applicants.
Drivers went back to work Friday, April 23 after a one-day strike that began Wednesday, April 21.
Workers for Waste Management provided collection services to all customers on Friday.
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.
Drivers had been working without a contract since April 1 until Wednesday's strike.