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Sunday, April 04, 2010 1:20 PM

Seattle Trash Collectors Make Average of $109,553 But Want More; 1,600 Apply to Haul Trash if Teamsters Strike

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One might think that $109,553 in this economy would be way more than enough to keep nearly anyone happy. In Seattle, it will not even keep trash collectors happy.

Please consider Teamsters dump Waste Management's 'best, last, final offer'

The Teamsters Local 174 says it has chosen not to accept Waste Management's 'best, last, final offer."

Union spokesman Michael Gonzales said the Teamsters have submitted a new proposal with "significant movement," and have no plans to strike.

Waste Management's five-year offer includes a wage increase of $1 per hour in the first year, bumping up the current pay rate of $26.29 per hour by 3.7 percent.

In addition, Waste Management said it is offering a one-time $1,000 bonus to each employee if the contract is ratified by April 3.

"By attaching an artificial deadline, it looks like they're trying to ram a bad contract down the sanitation workers' throats," said Brent Barrett, a yard waste driver.
A bad Contract?

The Teamsters Unions is a collection of overpaid fools who do not appreciate what they have.

Inquiring minds note that 1,600 apply to haul trash in case of Teamsters strike.
More than 1,600 people have applied to work as replacement drivers for Waste Management in case of a strike by the Teamsters, a company spokesperson said Saturday.

"We're preparing to hire replacements in the event of a prolonged strike. It's part of our contingency planning," said Jackie Lang, spokeswoman for Waste Management.

The company submitted what it calls its "best, last, final offer" to union garbage truck drivers represented by Teamsters Local 174, but the offer was rejected Friday by the union.

Union representatives said the Teamsters are unhappy with the company's final offer and have submitted their own new proposal with "significant movement" on the issues.

"The idea that the company can introduce new language and throw all kinds of changes at us and expect our members to vote on a short deadline is offensive," said Rick Hicks, secretary-treasurer of Teamsters Local 174 and lead negotiator.

"From a union's perspective, this appears to be a tactic to divide the membership and force them to vote on a substandard deal," said Local 117 Secretary-Treasurer, Tracey A. Thompson. "This approach to bargaining calls into question whether the company is bargaining in good faith."

Waste Management's five-year offer includes a wage increase of $1 per hour in the first year, bumping up the current pay rate of $26.29 per hour by 3.7 percent.

By the last year of the contract, the average driver's annual compensation will reach $109,553, Waste Management said, and the company will contribute more than $15,000 per year to each employee's pension fund.
Waste Management Was Overly Generous

Waste Management was more than generous with that offer. Indeed waste Management should have offered a 50% reduction. It would still have been able to fill every position.

How much talent does it take to haul trash anyway? And what is Seattle doing? It should be seeking competitive bids for hauling. I bet if Seattle tried, it could lower costs by 50 to 70%. There is no way, trash hauling jobs should pay $109,553.

$50,000 for hauling trash is more than generous.

At $50,000 Waste Management could fill every position with more than qualified personnel, improve service by adding extra workers, and still offer Seattle a 30-50% reduction in cost.

Seattle needs a new contract with Waste Management. This one is clearly absurd.

Mike "Mish" Shedlock
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