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Garbage truck drivers join Waste Management strike in Kirkland

Waste Management recycling and yard waste truck drivers in King and Snohomish counties went on strike Wednesday morning following failed contract negotiations.  - Contributed
Waste Management recycling and yard waste truck drivers in King and Snohomish counties went on strike Wednesday morning following failed contract negotiations.
— image credit: Contributed

Garbage, recycling, and yard waste collection services will not be provided to Kirkland residents on Thursday, July 26.

Waste Management recycling and yard waste truck drivers in King and Snohomish counties went on strike Wednesday morning following failed contract negotiations, disrupting service to approximately 20,000 Kirkland residents. The strike continued on Thursday and may continue next week, according to Waste Management officials.

Teamsters’ Local 117, whose membership includes recycling and yard waste truck drivers for Waste Management, Inc. (WMI), remain on strike and Teamsters’ Local 174, whose membership includes garbage truck drivers, are honoring the Local 117 picket lines.

Local 117 contacted Waste Management via a federal mediator on Thursday to continue negotiations on Saturday, July 28. Company officials said via a media statement that they were "prepared to do this provided the union leadership discontinues the pickets and allows our drivers to return to work."

However, union leadership refuses to allow the drivers to return to work and refuses to ensure uninterrupted service next week, said company officials.

in Kirkland,approximately 20,000 customers have been affected by the service disruptions, said Waste Management spokeswoman Robin Freedman.

Kirkland customers with Thursday collection service are encouraged to remove their garbage, recycling, and yard waste carts from the street.

A double load of garbage and recyclables will be collected at no additional cost on the next regularly scheduled service day.

City solid waste customers are encouraged to stay informed on the progress of the strike and service interruptions by visiting the WMI website at www.wmnorthwest.com/servicedelays. Questions or concerns should be directed to WMI at 1-800-592-9995 or pnwrsservices@wm.com

The city contracts with WMI for residential, multifamily and commercial garbage, recycling and organics collection services. WMI has begun implementing its strike contingency plan.

Initially, the plan will focus on restoring collection service to critical commercial customers associated with public health such as hospitals, nursing homes, and day care centers.

For information about the city’s contract with WMI, contact John MacGillivray, Solid Waste Programs lead, Kirkland Public Works at 425-587-3804.

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