News

No strike for garbage truck drivers; tentative deal reached

By PAT JENKINS

The Mirror

The garbage hauler serving Federal Way and other areas of King County has a tentative new contract with drivers who once were considered close to striking.

A settlement with Teamsters Local 174 was reached last Sunday following “marathon bargaining sessions” over the weekend, said Jerry Hardebeck, director of public sector services for Waste Management.

The negotiations apparently resolved a dispute over healthcare insurance costs. Earlier this month, Local 174’s secretary-trasurer, Dan Scott, said “our members are paying nearly $300 out of pocket each month for healthcare.”

Hardebeck said Sunday that Waste Management, which employs 300 drivers affected by the proposed deal, won’t disclose details of the tentative contract until union members vote on it in two weeks.

He said the company’s garbage collection service would continue “as scheduled.”

Waste Management has about 16,000 residential customers in Federal Way and approximately 3,000 in areas between Federal Way and Auburn. Additionally, the hauler serves Algona and Pacific, plus other areas in King County (including Seattle) and Snohomish County.

Negotiations were underway for several weeks. The drivers threatened to strike if a settlement wasn’t reached. Waste Management had contingency plans for continuing service for homes and commercial customers if there had been a work stoppage by the union.

Teamsters members who work for Waste Management in New York City and Washington, D.C. went on strike April 5.

Editor Pat Jenkins: 925-5565, editor@fedwaymirror.com

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