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Waste Management strike extends north

The following press release was distributed this morning by Teamsters Local 117:

BURLINGTON, WA (July 31) — Striking recycle and yard waste drivers, represented by Teamsters Local 117, extended their Seattle-area picket lines to a Waste Management facility in Burlington early this morning.  The Burlington facility serves customers in north Snohomish and Skagit counties.  Local 117 drivers established the picket line at the facility at 5 a.m.

In solidarity with the striking workers, members of Teamsters Local 231 chose to honor the primary picket line and refused to cross the line.  Local 231 represents roughly 35 garbage, yard waste, and recycle haulers who work at the facility.

“We are acting in solidarity with our Teamster brothers and sisters at Local 117 to send a clear message to Waste Management to return to the bargaining table immediately,” said Leonard Kelley, Secretary-Treasurer of Local 231.

The decision to extend picket lines comes after Waste Management rejected the Seattle-area drivers’ good-faith offer to stand down pickets and commence bargaining on Saturday morning.

“We have tried to negotiate with Waste Management, but they have refused. We have presented them with several options, but it appears they believe they are above the law and not interested in negotiating a contract with these workers,” said Tracey A. Thompson, Secretary-Treasurer of Teamsters Local 117.

Instead of negotiating, Waste Management is moving forward with a plan to put hundreds of out-of-town strikebreakers on the roads in Seattle-area neighborhoods.  A busload of replacement drivers arrived at the company’s Seattle yard early Monday morning.

“Evidently Waste Management would rather squander tens of thousands of dollars on out-of-town replacement drivers who are unfamiliar with the streets in our neighborhoods than negotiate with its professional and experienced crew of local workers who are eager to continue servicing their customers,” Thompson said.

ALSO SEE — How to support Waste Management strikers

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