I Support The Trash Drivers

There’s a garbage strike in Seattle and the surrounding suburbs. I’m embarrassed to say, I didn’t know the situation before the strike, and it certainly doesn’t look good.

Talks between Waste Management and recycle drivers, represented by Teamsters Local 117, stalled on Thursday because the company refused to bargain in good faith. The mediator called off negotiations after the company refused to respond to the Union’s proposal.

“Waste Management did not come prepared to bargain today,” said Tracey A. Thompson, Secretary-Treasurer of Teamsters Local 117. “We came back to the table to avoid a public health crisis but it’s clear that Waste Management wants to provoke a labor dispute.”

Waste Management has flown in out-of-state strike breakers to prepare for a lockout and has employed staffers from Huffmaster, a company that specializes in lockouts and strikes. “Waste Management is spending thousands of dollars on wages, plane tickets, rental cars, and hotel rooms for out-of-state strike breakers and security guards. That’s money that could be used to match proposals made by its major competitors,” Thompson said.

You can take that with a grain of salt being as it’s the union’s site. But I think it’s important for them to be able to get their side out.

… Late note, the link is old. When I wrote about not being aware of the situation, I thought that covered that it was for background, but re-reading it it looks like a current thing. So just to clarify.


  1. 1

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    Looks like it’s gonna be a tough strike. Waste Management’s stock has been sliding on weaker earnings, which puts pressure on management to boost profit margins by reining in labor costs.
    That means the company will be stubborn in negotiations.


    Full Disclosure: Roger Rabbit owns Waste Management stock and hopes it sinks like a stone so he can buy more shares for dirt cheap.

  2. 2

    Liberal Scientist is a Dirty Fucking Hippie spews:

    Does the city contract directly with WM?

    That could be a point to bring to bear – the individual isn’t interacting with WM – no business to directy boycot – but the city could, yes?

  3. 3

    Ernst Stavro Blofeld spews:

    So you support a striking union, yet you know nothing about the differences between the union and company side.

    Wow – way to get yourself educated prior to taking an opinion.

    YOU, Carl, are the definition of a low/no information voter.

    nice self ownage….

  4. 4


    ESB @ 3,

    “yet you know nothing about the differences between the union and company side.”

    Ummm…he clearly states that he didn’t know the situation “before the strike.” The situation & differences as it is now is rather public, and some of it is covered in his post.

    YOU, ESB, are the very definition of a sub-literate troll!

  5. 5

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @3 Why don’t you help out by posting what you think are “the differences between the union and company side”? Do you know?

  6. 6

    Ernst Stavro Blofeld spews:

    5. Roger Rabbit spews:
    @3 Why don’t you help out by posting what you think are “the differences between the union and company side”? Do you know?

    07/26/2012 AT 8:59 PM

    I know some, but not all of what is going on – so I dont know enough to take a side….which Carl clearly did even after stating he didnt jack shit.

  7. 7

    Michael spews:

    Is having to work on the 4th Of July part of the strike? I saw the garbage trucks out while I was on my way to my aunt and uncles place in Kirkland.

    Working on The 4th at a job that could have waited a day is seriously fucked.

  8. 8

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    “Waste Management said … it would go back to the bargaining table Saturday if the Teamsters reported to work immediately and stopped picketing the company’s truck-parking locations. The company also asked the union to give seven days’ notice before it resumes picketing.”


    Roger Rabbit Commentary: This sure looks like “an offer they can’t accept” and the company undoubtedly designed it that way.

  9. 10

    ev spews:

    Lib Sci–
    This was on the King5 News Report–

    The striking recycle drivers are with Teamsters Local 117, fighting for better salary and benefits in a contract negotiation that has dragged on for months.
    They would like Waste Management to raise their salaries to meet the pay of garbage drivers. With overtime, recycle drivers make about $58,000 a year. If requests are met, they could make as much as $98,000 a year with overtime.
    Negotiations between the Teamsters and Waste Management will continue on Saturday.

    So the are making $58K/yr. plus benefits now.
    And want $98K/yr. plus benefits.
    You be the judge.
    There are a huge number of people who would love to have those jobs at $58K/yr.

    BTW Roger Rabbit, here is the one year chart on WM

    Volatile, but hardly sliding. Took this one out of my portfolio earlier this year @ 35.50 but would buy again if it goes under $31.
    Closed yesterday at $33.10

  10. 11


    @10 From what I understand for some reason the recycle drivers make $9/hr less than the waste drivers which seems to me to be unfair at least on the surface. I think bringing their pay up to an equal level is not too much to ask.

  11. 12

    ev spews:

    So $98k/yr. plus excellent benefits probably worth another $25k/yr. seems reasonable to you.

  12. 13

    Mary Plante spews:

    Recycle truckworkers’ demand for parity with garbage truck workers seems fair and reasonable to me. I support Teamsters 117 in their efforts to secure a fair contract and cheer the 174 workers honoring the picket line. If I lived in King County, I would pull my containers from the curb. I’d rather make a trip to the landfill myself than let a scab on my property.

  13. 14

    ArtFart spews:

    Considering WMI’s lengthy track record of sleazyness, I’m not particularly surprised. Otherwise, since we live in a part of Seattle that’s served by the other contractor, I’m happy to sit this one out.

  14. 15

    rhp6033 spews:

    # 10: Well, here we go again, with EV passing moral judgement on the appropriate ceiling for compensation of union workers. A salary in the neighborhood of $50K a year, plus benefits, is the average in the Seattle area.

    Besides, these guys are operators of very heavy equipment working daily in a smelly, disgusting environment which has quite a few dangers. Up in Everett (where WMI doesn’t have a contract) I, also, have seen garbage pickups on most holidays, including Independence Day.

    Note also that the article referred to the highest number as including overtime. The company can avoid paying that much simply by good and efficient management. But a lot of companies don’t manage their employee work schedules well, and then complain about the overtime costs and try to get the employees to work the extra hours for free, one way or another.

  15. 16

    ev spews:

    Garbage Truck Drivers make $98k+ Benefits.
    I’m sure most of us were shocked by that, you included. But you’ll never admit it.

  16. 17

    Steve spews:

    “You be the judge.”

    You’re doing just fine, Klown. You’ve identified the fucking problem. Despite years of soaring income disparity, the poor and the working class still make too much goddamned fucking money.

    Gawd, you are one dumbfuck Klown. Your Republicans are taking this country to hell in a handbasket as they steal trillions from us and they send dumbfucks like you out to try to convince America that we should spend sleepless nights fretting about garbage men, teachers, police and firefighters making too much damn money.

    You’re just a mindless tool and you don’t even have the slightest fucking clue what’s going on around you. Do you want to make this a better world? Take your stupid fucking gun, Klown, and put a bullet in your fucking head.

  17. 18

    ev spews:

    The garbage man makes $98K/yr. plus benefits.
    Working folks would be lining up for miles to get a part of this gig.
    It’s shocking.
    But then again WM just marks it up and passes it on as they can.
    We the consumers pay.
    I take my own garbage to the dump.
    Perhaps Steve will take his alleged brain to the dump soon. It seems to be broken and no longer in working condition.

  18. 19

    Steve spews:

    “Working folks would be lining up for miles to get a part of this gig.”

    Look at how this troll whines over someone recieving a living wage.

    It sounds to me like you’re bitter over being rejected for a garbage man’s job, Ev. What was the problem? They didn’t like your manboobs?