Union thugs want more money to pickup garbage

Day nine and my garbage is still not picked up. My cat brought home a rat this past week (first time in the six years I’ve lived there) and we now have coyotes spotted in the area too (due to the garbage, I believe). I had to kill the rat with my bb gun and cats are now house-bound due to coyotes. Ugh. And why isn’t garbage being picked up? Take a wild guess…

Striking Waste Management drivers call customers with warning

Komo News: As pickup service resumes for some Waste Management residential customers, striking drivers have taken to the phones to get their side of the story out to many customers.
Countless residents have reported receiving robocalls left on their voicemail from people describing themselves as a Waste Management driver. The calls specifically address the company’s decision to hire replacement drivers.
“Waste Management is substituting us with drivers from out of state who may not be qualified to drive heavy garbage trucks on our region’s dangerous roads,” says one robocall. “Please be careful. Make sure your children stay out of the way of the trucks. Call police if you see something dangerous.
Waste Management maintains it has hired an ample number of replacement drivers, some of them on a permanent basis. Spokeswoman Robin Freedman says Waste Management is taking its best candidates from a recent job fair and running recruitment ads.
The walkout has affected 217,000 customers in the Seattle-Everett area. Some business owners have angrily paid to dump their own trash. In neighborhoods, flies are circling curbside garbage bins where trash has started to stink in the 70-degree summer weather. The Washington Fish and Wildlife Department urged residents to keep garbage enclosed to avoid attracting raccoons and bears.
Using replacement drivers from around the country, Waste Management has been offering limited service to priority commercial customers such as restaurants. Now, the company is screening applicants for permanent replacement jobs, spokeswoman Robin Freedman said.
“Our drivers have chosen to enter into a strike. We have an obligation to the community, so we’re going to hire replacement workers to get the job done,” she said. Waste Management has the contract to collect waste in 60 percent of Seattle.
About 150 yard waste and recycling truck drivers represented by Local 117 walked out on July 25 after their contract expired at the end of May. About 350 garbage truck drivers represented by Local 174 are not crossing picket lines.
Local 117 wants to close a gap of about $9 an hour between the yard waste-recycling truck drivers and the garbage haulers. They drive similar trucks and the same routes and deserve the same pay, the union says.
Waste Management says it’s offering a six-year deal that would raise average salaries from $58,000 to $68,000 a year. If benefits are included, the offer is worth $98,000 a year to a driver at the end of the sixth year, the company said.
The median household annual income in 2011 in King County was about $54,000 and in Snohomish County about $51,000, the state Office of Financial Management estimated.
Teamsters Local 117 has accused Waste Management of intimidation and refusing to bargain in good faith. Members are not concerned about losing their jobs because they expect the National Labor Relations Board to agree that Waste Management has committed unfair labor practices, spokeswoman Brenda Wiest said. Hiring replacement workers is “another bullying tactic to intimidate and threaten drivers instead of bargaining in good faith,” she said.
No new talks have been announced as tension and pressure mount, like the growing mounds of garbage bags at many homes and businesses.
Bullying tactics? Like their robocalls telling people to call the police?
The salary package they offer sounds pretty darn good for the skills required for this job – basically a high school education, commercial driver’s license, lifting, and ability to handle the smell. Waste Management started airing radio commercials yesterday morning for replacement truck drivers. By noon, they already had 250 applicants.
These union thugs are dangerous and greedy. With unemployment still above 8% you’d think they would be happy just to have a job.
Update: The union & Waste Management reached a deal on Wednesday night. No details available yet on contract specifics. Union to vote on Thursday to ratify contract.

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OK, how much IS it worth to be a garbage handler-hauler? I don’t know, but I don’t want to do the task either just to find out. I suspect that no one here will do it even for $98,000 a year, after viewing the millions of maggots wiggling about…. What this article DOES tell me is that our society’s become very dysfunctional and is breaking down to collapse. Insider people told me 25 yrs ago that Waste Management was bought out by the Mafia, as it was a ‘clean business’ and could be used to cover a LOT of problems,… Read more »

Dr. Eowyn

Joseph, The point isn’t whether you or I want to be a garbage handler-hauler. The point is the MARKET: supply & demand. Since being a garbageman requires no education and very little training, many many many people are qualified to be one, unlike being a heart or brain surgeon. Which is why in a functioning market, heart/brain surgeons get paid in 6 figures, but garbagemen are not — except where the market is warped by artificial factors such as union demands. And so we have garbagemen making nearly 6 figures, at $98,000 a year. That, by the way, is more… Read more »


Thanks for the full reply, it answers my thought that we’re rapidly breaking down as a functioning society. I agree w/all that you wrote, but we’re still stuck w/the fact that we need to know: “Who will haul the garbage?” The tens of millions of illegal immigrants may fill these roles, as they did when the huge unionised slaughterhouse operations were broken, and the illegals rushed to fill the void. This is a consequence few of us are likely happy about, but it is now the case. As I wrote, while I very much need the income, even at $98,000… Read more »

Dr. Eowyn

“Who will haul the garbage?” I betcha there are many many many out-of-work Americans who are more than willing and ready to do this work! Just speaking for myself, if I were destitute, I would haul garbage. Just as I had washed dishes, deepfried artichokes, waited on tables in a tenderloin restaurant in a graveyard shift, sold Fullerbrush and Avon door-to-door, worked in an A&W Drive-In — all while I was attending junior college, before I “graduated” to being an office clerk working on campus when I transferred to a 4-year college. As for handling smelling garbage, that’s why the… Read more »

Caroline Niven-Roy

Good grief is right…


We had a town dump where every Wednesday or Saturday
we could take our “trash’….it was the greatest place to recycle
and/or exchange. The garbage went in our compost piles.The
aluminium in a pile.The tires in a pile. The burnable in a hole to
be reduced at the end of the day and covered when needed.
I always seemed to bring back more than I took.
The Mafia now hauls bins to THEIR hole in the ground (5 miles
away as the crow flies) and buries it all…for an exorbitant fee. 🙁


Right on, and exactly as it was when I did my bush living: we organised and operated our land-fill EXACTLY as you describe. This is why I’m an conservative anarchist Christian: “We, the People,” have ALWAYS done it, eventually. I’ll deploy my talents to farm and feed people, as I’ve done at every opportunity: anarchy means we run our community from the bottom up, never top down, very much as in Acts. By the bye, Hoffa’s in a landfill somewhere in the lower Forty-Eight….


I say fire their greedy butts and hire people who want to work.
Given this crappy economy, WM should have no trouble finding qualified non-goonion drivers.
I mean, just how difficult is it to drive a garbage truck?


Are they insane or what? Can’t they look around this country and see the well is dry, the carcass has been picked clean, there’s nothing left for their greed to feed on?? Be thankful to have a job…any job. $98,000 a year??? PFFFT!!! If you want to fleece people become a politician; that seems to be the only occupation left where you can still get away with it. Now go pick up the trash before you lose your job.


Time was, GF, when my charge-out was C$ 75 for the first hour, and $65 afterward. Now I’m down to $37.50 IF I can get it, but most of the time only $27.50, and I supply ALL the tools, trailer, truck, WCB, admin, etc. So it works out to me, a journeyman carpenter w/50 yrs experience doing it all for maybe $20/hr: there were years when I paid my foremen up to $35/hr!!