Picket Line by Recology Office Workers Would Shut Down Garbage Collection for Recology Customers Throughout King County
Jamie FlemingEmail: [email protected] Phone: (206) 441-6060
(TUKWILA, Wash.)—Amid stalled contract negotiations, a group of six specialized office workers at Recology in Seattle have voted unanimously to authorize a strike. These workers have chosen Teamsters Local 174 to negotiate their first contract, which is the same local that represents the drivers and dispatchers at Recology’s Seattle location. Though the group of workers is small, a strike would have a devastating impact on Recology customers throughout King County, as all Local 174 Recology Teamsters have the right to refuse to cross the picket line.
When this group of extremely specialized workers first voted to join the Teamsters, negotiations were expected to go smoothly, as the employees had hoped to enjoy the same terms and conditions as their coworkers. However, after the union met with Recology management, the company made it clear that they did not place a high enough value on the work of the office data specialists to afford them the same benefits as the 230 other members of Teamsters Local 174 servicing communities in Seattle, Shoreline, Bothell, Des Moines, Issaquah, Mercer Island, and Maple Valley out of that facility and the Recology Multi-Resource Facility. If picket lines were to be extended, even more workers and communities would be affected.
“This is short-sighted corporate greed, as Recology would rather face a countywide strike than treat these six additional people with the same dignity and respect that has been bargained for the other 230 employees that they work with,” said Teamsters Local 174 Secretary-Treasurer Rick Hicks. “This should have been a no-brainer for them, especially given the extremely specialized nature of the work these analysts perform. Instead, Recology management has decided to turn this into a fight. If it’s a fight they want, it’s a fight they will get.”
Now that a strike has been authorized, Teamsters Local 174 leadership can call for a work stoppage at any time. In addition, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters Solid Waste Division has given approval to extend picket lines throughout Recology’s jurisdiction in the Western United States.
Founded in 1909, Teamsters Local 174 represents 8,600 working men and women in the Seattle area. “Like” us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/TeamstersLocal174.