9/10/08

Teamsters-WM strike update: Trash piles up

More Waste Management stories: here
Related stories: "Striking Teamsters slapped with ULP" • "Striking Teamsters upset by replacements"

Residents Feel Effect Of Teamsters Strike

Bruce Milne is proud of his 15-acre farm in the town of Erin (WI). The land is dotted with tall trees, green pastures, even a man-made pond. But thanks to the ongoing Waste Management strike Milne also found himself spending weeks looking at a growing pile of manure.

Milne hired Waste Management to pick up his Dumpster every week, a Dumpster he fills with manure from his five horses. However, when Teamster union workers went on strike two weeks ago the company missed two pickups and Milne had to pile the waste in his back yard.

Milne said he contacted the company 10 times but never got anywhere. Then, his story appeared in a Milwaukee-area newspaper this morning and that attention seemed to work.

“The driver just said he got a call this morning and was told to come out and pick up our manure,” Milne said.

After a week off reps with the union and Waste Management are back at the bargaining table in Wauwatosa with a federal mediator and the issue continues to be the future of the worker pensions.

While the 240 teamsters walk the picket line, Waste Management is using workers from other parts of the county to pick up the garbage.

Customers like Milne say they don't care about the negotiating, they just want their garbage picked up.

“We find ourselves being held hostage in the attempt of these two sides trying to come up with an agreement,” Milne said.

Milne said he is trying to end his contract with Waste Management and go to another company, something that numerous other customers tell us they have already done.

(wisn.com)

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