Garbage workers strike in San Mateo County

Trash bins in East Palo Alto linger in afternoon heat

Garbage workers in San Mateo County started a 48-hour strike Wednesday (Aug. 25) to protest stalled contract negotiations with Allied Waste Industries, a company spokeswoman said.

Several East Palo Alto residents said their garbage bins, normally collected Wednesday at 6 a.m., still lingered on the curb by mid-afternoon. The sweltering afternoon heat accentuated the pungent smell, one resident said.

Thirteen workers at the Ox Mountain Landfill near Half Moon Bay are participating in the two-day strike over negotiations that have stalled since their contract expired at the end of 2009, Allied Waste spokeswoman Peg Mulloy said.

An additional 250 workers, mostly truck drivers and garbage collectors based at the company's San Carlos facility, have decided to walk off the job in solidarity with their 13 colleagues.

Allied Waste officials were told about the landfill walkout by union officials before it occurred, allowing enough time to hire replacement workers for Wednesday and Thursday, Mulloy said.

However, the walkout by the San Carlos employees was unexpected, she said.

"It's disappointing that the union would do something to negatively impact our customers," Mulloy said.

The workers are members of the Teamsters Local 350 union. Some commercial customers will be serviced during the walkout, but residential customers -- such as those in East Palo Alto -- will experience delays, she said.

— Bay City News Service

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Like this comment
Posted by City Services
a resident of Downtown North
on Aug 26, 2010 at 11:34 am

City workers should NOT be allowed to strike when the strike will impact critical services. Period!! I'm tired of being held hostage by unions.

Like this comment
Posted by Al
a resident of Charleston Gardens
on Aug 26, 2010 at 11:40 am

It's long past time for city governments to begin to use robotics for some of these sorts of jobs that are repetitive, but necessary.

Automated vision systems are more than sophisticated enough to do sorting of refuse, and automated vehicle control can reduce the need for vehicle operators.

These sorts of activities could go on 7/24, rather than the limited hours demanded by labor union.

Like this comment
Posted by Funny
a resident of Professorville
on Aug 26, 2010 at 1:55 pm

@ Al
You sound so dumb, you probably don't even realize it. Are you suggesting that more unemployment = a thriving economy? Or are you just out of pure selfishness, trying to voice stupid ideas that come to your head in your dreams?? Mr. Robotics, why don't you start engineering some robots then?

Like this comment
Posted by San Mateo County resident
a resident of Menlo Park
on Aug 26, 2010 at 3:21 pm

@ "City Services"

Can't you read? They are not city workers. They work for a large corporation.

Like this comment
Posted by Disgusted
a resident of Menlo Park
on Aug 26, 2010 at 5:20 pm

When 13 guys can hold an entire county hostage, something stinks - and it is not just uncollected garbage.

Like this comment
Posted by Walter_E_Wallis
a resident of Midtown
on Aug 26, 2010 at 8:19 pm

Walter_E_Wallis is a registered user.

Al is right - there is no more reason to have the hoisting of the can by human muscle than there is to sort the waste stream by hand when we have long had the technology to do a better sort and yield a better end stream when the process is brought into the [early] 20th century. The productivity and thus the compensation of the workers would improve and they might even change their title to Returnsmen.

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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