Md. trash haulers launch strike over contract negotiations

27 Dec 2014 | Author: | No comments yet »

Company Strike Should Have Minimal Impact on Montgomery County Trash Collection.

Trash and recycling collectors who serve about 12,000 Montgomery County households per day went on strike early Friday morning, charging that their company, Unity Disposal of Laurel, has refused to negotiate a fair contract. The Montgomery County Division of Solid Waste Services (DSWS) reports that the current strike staged by workers at one of its trash/recycling contractors, Unity Disposal and Recycling, LLC, should have minimal impact on service delivery today and tomorrow. The trash haulers voted to form a union more than nine months ago and employer Unity Disposal has yet to agree on a first contract, according to the Laborers International Union of North America (LIUNA). Unity serves about 46,000 households per week in Bethesda, Aspen Hill, Colesville, northern Silver Spring and some neighborhoods north of Gaithersburg.

The company also serves parts of Howard County. “The plan is to get everything picked up,” said Robin Ennis, collections section chief for Montgomery’s Department of Environmental Services. They said Unity’s last contract proposal would have paid new employees at a lower rate. “We work hard and we provide a vital service,” said Unity driver Martin Puesan in a statement released by the union. “Yet too many of us struggle to provide for our families on what Unity pays us. These should not be poverty-level jobs.” Montgomery pays about $21 million a year to Unity and two other firms — Potomac Disposal and Ecology Services — to collect trash, recycling, yard trim, bulk trash and scrap metal for about 200,000 households.

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