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Deal between Republic Services, union members fails as strike hits third week

Posted at 2:27 PM, Jan 06, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-06 22:38:40-05

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — A deal between Republic Services and Teamsters Local 542 to restore sanitation service failed Thursday, three weeks since the standoff started.

The deal presented to the Teamsters Local 542 to bring the strike to an end failed after 86 members voted in favor, but 136 members rejected the offer.

Sanitation workers immediately returned to the picket lines following the failed vote at the union's headquarters.

Workers continue to seek better wages, though Republic Services has argued that it already provides adequate wages.

"There’s a lot of times that they [Republic Services] talk about how they appreciate what we do, but it just doesn’t seem like that because we’ve been out here for so long," union worker, Ladere Hampton, said earlier this month.

Republic Services said in a statement on Thursday:

"Republic Services is disappointed that the union that represents our striking San Diego and Chula Vista employees rejected a proposal by the company that would have resulted in a new labor contract and an end to the union’s three-week work stoppage. Republic and the union had met for negotiations 15 times, including five with a federal mediator. The company’s offer featured a highly competitive wage and total compensation package and had the support and encouragement of city partners and leadership.

Until further notice, Republic’s Emergency Operations Plan will continue to be implemented. Our Blue Crew relief drivers remain on the job and continue to make progress servicing our customers. We are grateful to our municipal partners and customers for their patience and understanding."

Currently, the company is utilizing its "Blue Crew" relief drivers to collect trash during the strike.

Customers can also haul their own trash, recyclables, and yard waste to the Otay or Sycamore landfill free of charge during the strike; they just need to present their account invoices at the landfills.