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Faced with increasing problems from garbage piling up in Seattle due to a week-old truck...

Faced with increasing problems from garbage piling up in Seattle due to a week-old truck drivers' strike, plus the looming threat of fines, Waste Management (WM -0.2%) has decided to play hardball and begin hiring permanent replacement drivers, as well as temporarily expand its collection efforts to clean up the mess. Union workers walked off the job on July 25 and still haven't talked. The strike has affected hundreds of thousands of residents in the Puget Sound region of Washington.
Comments (26)
  • wigit5
    , contributor
    Comments (4214) | Send Message
     
    I wonder what the average salary of the union drivers is...
    1 Aug 2012, 12:49 PM Reply Like
  • Ray Lopez
    , contributor
    Comments (1595) | Send Message
     
    Sanitation engineers typically make about $50 to $100k on the East Coast, not counting the director who makes low six figures. Sticky wages.
    1 Aug 2012, 12:50 PM Reply Like
  • Lint
    , contributor
    Comments (391) | Send Message
     
    The decision to walk away from your job as a form of negotiation leverage comes with a possible reality that you can be replaced easily.
    1 Aug 2012, 12:51 PM Reply Like
  • Clayton Rulli
    , contributor
    Comments (2919) | Send Message
     
    Replace em. I'd be happy to take that job
    1 Aug 2012, 12:56 PM Reply Like
  • wigit5
    , contributor
    Comments (4214) | Send Message
     
    That is what I was just thinking especially if Ray Lopez is right about the wages... I'd drive a trash truck for 30k if they want and industry average benefits!
    1 Aug 2012, 12:57 PM Reply Like
  • gardesign
    , contributor
    Comments (153) | Send Message
     
    The package they've been offered is over 90k when you add in health benefits, retirement matching, etc.....quite generous if you ask me. I don't think striking was the best idea. WM has contracts with the city that they must fulfill, replacing the drivers is something they almost have to do..

     

    Those drivers need to tuck their tails, and return to work, or they'll be out of a job....and of course, he union is telling them that WM can't let them go...uh huh, we'll see.
    1 Aug 2012, 01:02 PM Reply Like
  • Tommy_Finger
    , contributor
    Comments (320) | Send Message
     
    Maybe it's time we shot our garbage into space, towards the sun, of course.
    1 Aug 2012, 01:02 PM Reply Like
  • tikigod18
    , contributor
    Comments (967) | Send Message
     
    Replace them, and they don't come back, period. That pay package is more than fair!!
    1 Aug 2012, 01:04 PM Reply Like
  • kitchenboy
    , contributor
    Comments (29) | Send Message
     
    I am looking for a job that pays 10 bucks an hour. they need to think twice before staying on strike
    1 Aug 2012, 01:07 PM Reply Like
  • wigit5
    , contributor
    Comments (4214) | Send Message
     
    I hear WM is hiring in Seattle, for 50k+ a year and benefits it's worth moving.
    1 Aug 2012, 01:08 PM Reply Like
  • youngman442002
    , contributor
    Comments (5131) | Send Message
     
    Bad move on the unions part..but the politicians will help the unions I am sure....I hope it goes non union now...a garbage collector....90,000 dollars....I hope its now 30,000 now and then the cities can cut expenses and save the homeowners some money in these tough times....
    1 Aug 2012, 01:46 PM Reply Like
  • Topcat
    , contributor
    Comments (483) | Send Message
     
    I think the offer is around $60k in the fifth year of a new contract. The Seattle sticking point I believe is not the $ or benefits, which are quite good, but the fact that there is a lower tier of drivers who drive the recycle trucks; they get $9/hr less. They are trying to get that bumped up. The are not really on strike if the contract has expired, correct? Anyway, WM is hiring replacement workers fast now, since they will soon face millions of dollars of fines from the City of Seattle, so they really have no choice. But has people have stated, there will be PLENTY of unemployed people willing to take these jobs.
    1 Aug 2012, 02:33 PM Reply Like
  • MKarl
    , contributor
    Comments (3) | Send Message
     
    Unions will be the destruction of the planet. Management wants to talk but the union wants to stay out. Must be summer vacation. They deserve what they get.
    1 Aug 2012, 03:31 PM Reply Like
  • jdubyah
    , contributor
    Comment (1) | Send Message
     
    Said like a true company man!!!
    3 Aug 2012, 04:54 PM Reply Like
  • rayfrechette
    , contributor
    Comments (25) | Send Message
     
    Another sad tale of unions hurting their members with false promises and hope. These WM employees will end up losing their jobs, be mad at WM, think their union is the greatest thing and then union reps will go around signing up new WM replacement workers and not suffer at all while old employees will have to settle for low paying jobs if any at all. Its happened before and until workers wise up to these unions will happen again. I agree with WM that if their employees do not want to work for wages offered, hire new employees; if wages that bad no one will want the jobs.
    1 Aug 2012, 03:36 PM Reply Like
  • 2PP
    , contributor
    Comments (349) | Send Message
     
    Once the union strikers see the WM trucks rolling again and they are not the ones driving them, they will cave very quickly. With the economy so tough and jobs so scarce, it was a stupid move for the union to pull their drivers. The worker loses his job and the union rep keeps getting paid.
    1 Aug 2012, 04:27 PM Reply Like
  • Randy Sommovilla
    , contributor
    Comments (37) | Send Message
     
    Drivers of the recycle trucks don't enjoy the malodorous aromas of rotting and putrid garbage all day long. Exposure to the garbage is also a significant health risk. If the wage differential is the basic issue and unless there is a regular rotation of duties, why are the garbage truck drivers supporting it?
    2 Aug 2012, 05:45 PM Reply Like
  • SoDamnLucky
    , contributor
    Comments (61) | Send Message
     
    Who is John Galt?
    3 Aug 2012, 09:14 AM Reply Like
  • theabbevillekid
    , contributor
    Comments (55) | Send Message
     
    "...Unions will be the destruction of the planet..."

     

    Probably one of the most idiotic statements of the year. Unions were created to help the worker get a fair shake from companies who were more into fattening their coffers than making their workplaces safe to work in. Are there corrupt union management or workers? Of course! Just as there are fat cats on the company board. Both sides of this issue are looking to chisel just a bit more for themselves. But to use a broad overall statement that unions will be the destruction of the planet? Seriously? Ask any worker who has had the misfortune to work for a company or corporation that gives less of a shit about their safety, than the fine it would cost to circumvent the law or standard put in place to keep their workplace safe. Unions worked for us when we needed them, now they're all looked at with disdain for their negotiating tactics...

     

    Pffft! I could go on and on and end my statement by saying that truthfully, unions in general are only a mass reflection on society's overwhelming greed.

     

    But who cares.

     

    Workers who perform as requested, helping the company as a whole hit their projected numbers, should have a reasonable expectation for a raise in pay.
    19 Aug 2012, 06:07 PM Reply Like
  • wigit5
    , contributor
    Comments (4214) | Send Message
     
    Unions are now part of the problem, they once served a very good purpose but now the government handles most of it so having pay dues is pointless. They are now as much a corporation as the company they are supposed to protect you from.
    20 Aug 2012, 08:34 AM Reply Like
  • theabbevillekid
    , contributor
    Comments (55) | Send Message
     
    Wigit5 and everyone else who parrots the blanket statement that "Unions are wrong, and worthless, and do nothing to help business."

     

    http://bit.ly/O15BiW

     

    Read the entire article. Cliff notes for those of you too lazy to read:

     

    Two major oil refineries were slated to be shelved in PA. Unions worked tirelessly to find buyers for both refineries. Bringing it to the attention of, and working with both federal and local governments, they helped broker a deal between the buyers and sellers of the refineries, THEN renegotiated their workers contracts to help smooth the takeover process.

     

    So please, when parroting statements heralded by media outlets controlled by both big corporations, and power brokers, do just a small bit of your own research to see just what is going on in the world around you. Its not always reported widely, but nonetheless is still there and relevant.

     

    Abbeville
    22 Aug 2012, 07:42 AM Reply Like
  • wigit5
    , contributor
    Comments (4214) | Send Message
     
    Wigit5 and everyone else who parrots the blanket statement that "Unions are wrong, and worthless, and do nothing to help business."

     

    http://bit.ly/O15BiW

     

    Read the entire article. Cliff notes for those of you too lazy to read:

     

    Two major oil refineries were slated to be shelved in PA. Unions worked tirelessly to find buyers for both refineries. Bringing it to the attention of, and working with both federal and local governments, they helped broker a deal between the buyers and sellers of the refineries, THEN renegotiated their workers contracts to help smooth the takeover process.

     

    So please, when parroting statements heralded by media outlets controlled by both big corporations, and power brokers, do just a small bit of your own research to see just what is going on in the world around you. Its not always reported widely, but nonetheless is still there and relevant.

     

    Abbeville
    22 Aug 2012, 08:34 AM Reply Like
  • Randy Sommovilla
    , contributor
    Comments (37) | Send Message
     
    Abbeville,
    You failed to mention the building trades' physical assaults in Philadelphia on workers and delivery truck drivers on a construction project employing a 50/50 mix of union/non-union members. It is a virtual war zone with the building trades the aggressor. This is nothing new in this city. The good, the bad and the ugly exist on both sides, but I haven't seen management employing thugs and Pinkertons in many decades.
    23 Aug 2012, 02:53 PM Reply Like
  • theabbevillekid
    , contributor
    Comments (55) | Send Message
     
    "...I haven't seen management employing thugs and Pinkertons in many decades..."

     

    So because you don't see it, it doesn't happen? Is that your argument? Fist fights and "assaults" don't just happen for no reason.

     

    As you mentioned in your previous statement: "The good, the bad and the ugly exist on both sides." But had no union been involved, management would've easily imposed their will over the workers without impunity. Fair wage for fair work. And just as a side note, I do not follow unions blindly thinking that all unions are good, there are corrupt leaders in unions as well. I just get tired of hearing people trash a union, simply because their asking for more, and striking to get their point across.

     

    Abbeville
    23 Aug 2012, 09:28 PM Reply Like
  • Randy Sommovilla
    , contributor
    Comments (37) | Send Message
     
    Abbeville,
    Ah, so I essentially have to prove the negative? I am certain that if management employed "thugs and Pinkertons", I would have heard of it. And I guess that if management imposes its will in your words "without impunity", it does so in a measured and and non-arbitrary fashion. What is a "fair wage for fair work"? Is it just what the unions demand? Does not management have the right to employ legitmate and legal tools in the collective bargaining process? If the workers want to picket, fine. Just don't walk around wielding and using cudgels to make a point.

     

    There are no doubt sectors of the economy in need of unions.
    But the abuses are many. In addition to the current strife I mentioned, do you know the history of Altemose Construction Co. development in Valley Forge where roofer's union members attacked the site with molotov cocktails?

     

    Archaic union work rules have driven conventions away from the Pennsylvania Convention Center where four or five trades fight over who should perform menial tasks, and exhibitors dare not install a light bulb without an electrician present. The wage rate is $63/hr. It is certainly more than a fair wage for skilled workers but certainly not for the many unskilled and mundane tasks needed to set up an exhibition.
    24 Aug 2012, 08:06 PM Reply Like
  • theabbevillekid
    , contributor
    Comments (55) | Send Message
     
    So ...what are you trying to say?

     

    Basically I acknowledged that all unions arent good, as with anything, there are bad apples as well.

     

    Your point is arbitrary, and at best unnecessary.

     

    Abbeville
    24 Aug 2012, 09:46 PM Reply Like
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