Striking garbage haulers said they will return to work at midnight tonight in King County without a settlement with Waste Management.
The garbage workers’ union and Waste Management agreed to resume bargaining Monday morning, meeting with a federal mediator.
“We are glad the Teamsters have announced that they will return to work tomorrow, but feel that this unfortunate situation could have been avoided entirely had the union simply responded to our earlier request to meet,” said Jackie Lang of Waste Management. “We look forward to our drivers returning to work tomorrow to provide Friday collection services as scheduled.”
Representatives of Teamsters Local 174 said they expect 700 area garbage haulers will resume normal operations Friday morning to catch up on the backlog created by Wednesday’s work stoppage.
The union said garbage workers who service King and Snohomish County will return to work unconditionally at midnight to prevent a public health crisis and to minimize service disruptions to area businesses and residents.
“The public comes first,” said Ewart Grove Jr., a 25-year Waste Management employee.
In South King County, Waste Management picks up garbage in Federal Way, Auburn, Algona, Pacific and in many unincorporated areas.