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Waste Management strikes, some service for April 21 interupted

Serving an estimated 1 million customers in King and Snohomish counties, union garbage haulers went on strike about 10:30 a.m. April 21.

The strike primarily targets Waste Management, which picks up trash and recyclables throughout Kirkland. Most of the annexation area north of the city is serviced by Rabanco.

"According to Waste Management Northwest's Web site, the strike scuttled "some" service slated for April 21, but the company was promising to have service as usual on April 22," said City of Kirkland spokesperson Marie Stake in a release.

The Web site further states that if your waste was not picked up April 21, for customers to keep that waste until your next scheduled collection day when it will be hauled away at no extra charge.

The City contracts with WMI for residential, multi-family and commercial garbage, recycling and organics collection services.

"Waste Management, Inc. (WMI) has notified the City of Kirkland that the Teamsters’ Local 174, whose membership includes garbage truck drivers for WMI and Allied Waste Services, initiated a strike today," said Stake. "The length of the strike is unknown at this time.

Drivers for Teamster Local 174 have been working without a labor contract since April 1, when, according to comments made to Reporter Newspapers, 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.

Representatives from Waste Management and Teamsters Local 174 were not available for comment as of the afternoon of April 21.

In the past, Waste Management officials have told Reporter Newspapers that they have replacement drivers on standby should a strike occur. It was not immediately known whether those drivers would be called in to fill routes left open by striking workers.

City solid waste customers are encouraged to stay informed on the progress of the strike.

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