Did you notice your garbage was still in the driveway when you came home from work yesterday afternoon? You weren’t the only one! The Waste Management Team in King and Snohomish counties went on strike yesterday afternoon against the largest refuse service over wage and benefits issues in the Northwest. According to the Seattle Times, the Local 117, which includes 153 recycling-route drivers walked out yesterday, and were joined by the garbage truck drivers of Local 174 shortly after.
Drivers began to pull service trucks into the South Seattle Waste Management yard, stepped out of their vehicles and picked up a picket sign. Their strike affects over 220,000 in King and Snohomish counties, and Waste Management could be issued steep fines should the strike drag out; up to $4,500 dollars a day for failing to make scheduled collections, and $250,000 if the strike drags out longer than a week. Drivers have been without a contract since May 31st, and are disputing the wage gap between recycle drivers who start at $17 an hour vs garbage drivers who’re starting at around $26 an hour. At this time there are no plans for negotiation in place, Waste Management hopes drivers will come back to work. For more information on the strike, visit the Seattle Times.