The session lasted until after 1 a.m. Tuesday, said Susan Robinson, director of public sector services for Waste Management, in an e-mail Tuesday to Kent city officials.
“Waste Management and the Teamsters agreed to reconvene on Tuesday,” Robinson said. “Both parties agreed that services would be provided on schedule on Tuesday. All collections are on schedule.”
A federal mediator is assisting with the bargaining talks.
“The union has made significant movement to get a deal and while the company has shown signs of interest, Waste Management is still refusing to provide the same health-care protections provided by other major waste companies in the area,” said Rick Hicks, secretary treasurer of Local 174, on the Local 117 union Web site. “We believe a deal is within reach if the company is willing to spend money to protect their employees instead of on a slick public relations campaign and unqualified replacement workers who will be a threat to the safety of our neighborhoods.”
Garbage drivers ended a two-day strike April 23
Garbage drivers ended a two-day strike April 23after company officials agreed to resume contract talks.
Waste Management serves about 1,300 commercial customers and 135 multi-family (condos, apartments) customers in Kent. The company serves nearly one million customers in King and Snohomish counties.
Single-family homes in Kent are served by Allied Waste, whose drivers agreed to a new four-year contract earlier this month. Allied Waste serves the city’s nearly 16,200 single-family homes.
The Waste Management drivers have been working without a contract since April 1.
Local 174 spokesman Michael Gonzales said in an interview last week that there are about 12 significant modifications to the contract by the company that the union wants to address.
The contract offer from Waste Management includes a wage increase of $1 per hour in the first year and increases of 40 cents to 50 cents per hour in each year of the five-year contract, Robinson said. The average hourly wage for a driver is $26.29 per hour or more than $70,000 per year with an average of six overtime hours per week.
The company also proposes to increase pension contributions from $14,060 per year in 2010 to $15,101 per year by the end of the contract.
Drivers would have to pay increases of $20 per month in health and welfare contributions with a proposed increase to $50 per month from $30 per month.
Waste Management, based in Houston, Texas, is a large, multi-state company that serve millions of customers nationwide.