San Diego (KGTV)- It’s been nearly three weeks since sanitation workers went on strike. Employees with Republic Services say they are hopeful an agreement can be reached this week.
“From day one, we’ve always had the same spirits, fighting spirit, that we’re going to be here as long as it takes,” says worker Manny Puma, who has been a part of the negotiations team.
Negotiations between the Teamsters 542 union members and Republic Services are scheduled to resume Tuesday. Puma says the company has only offered workers a yearly increase of 25 cents. That only adds up to a $1.25 raise on a 5-year contract.
Puma says the employees want “better working conditions, we want safer vehicles that’s the main concern.” He adds, “We just want to be compensated… We work 12-13 hour days, 60 hours a week.”
A statement from Republic Services sent to ABC 10News says in part:
We remain committed to bargaining in good faith for a contract that is fair for all and look forward to resuming negotiations this week.
While workers have been striking, overflowing trash bins have become a common sight along curbs across the county.
“Every day, we have to drive from the line back home. We see what’s out there in the city. We’re ready to get back to work, and we’re going to clean this city up.”
Republic Services says it’s operating on its regular trash collection schedule this week in Chula Vista with the help of relief drivers. ABC 10News asked if that’s the case for other neighborhoods in the county. We are waiting on their response.