Are Waste Management workers getting ready to strike?

Waste Management drivers haven’t said if or when they’ll strike, but it looks like they’re getting ready just in case.

Tomorrow the union representing 400 trash collectors in Snohomish and King counties will hold a training session and rally to roll out a Neighborhood Trash Watch program.

Teamsters say the goal is to “help customers hold Waste Management accountable for service failures in the event of a lockout or strike.” It will “provide residents and businesses with a range of resources for reporting service problems and stopping trash from piling up in area neighborhoods,” the union said in a news release.

The two sides still can’t agree on a new contract. Waste Management is holding firm to what it calls its “best, last and final offer” worth about $110,000 per worker in wages and benefits. The union says the company is trying to eliminate retiree healthcare and roll back employee health care protection.

The union has filed five unfair labor practice charges with the National Labor Relations Board.

Waste Management serves about one million homes in King and Snohomish counties, including Lynnwood east of Highway 99. The company says it’s been interviewing replacement drivers and will bring in out-of-state workers in case there’s a strike.

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