Seattle-area sanitation workers stand in solidarity with striking Teamsters from San Diego. 

Puget Sound recycle and yard waste drivers, who are represented by Teamsters Local 117 and work at Republic Services, are honoring picket lines that were established by striking Teamsters from San Diego. The California sanitation workers from Local 542 raised pickets early this morning at the company’s facilities in Bellevue, Lynnwood, Kent, and Seattle.

The 250 members of Teamsters Local 542 have been on strike since December 17, 2021 after the company refused to bargain in good faith and failed to address the workers’ demands for improved safety conditions in contract negotiations.

In solidarity with the San Diego Teamsters, Local 117 yard waste and recycle drivers, who service communities across the Puget Sound region, exercised their contractual rights and honored Local 542’s picket lines at the four Republic Services locations.

“Our members are standing in solidarity with their Teamster Sisters and Brothers in San Diego who are fighting for a fair contract,” said John Scearcy, Secretary-Treasurer of Teamsters Local 117. “Rather than provoking a strike, Republic Services should honor workers who have braved the pandemic to provide essential sanitation services that help keep our communities healthy and safe.”

In 2020, Republic Services earned over $10 billion, with $1.2 billion in net profit, while its CEO’s total compensation totaled over $12 million. Republic’s largest shareholder is Microsoft founder Bill Gates, and Gates’ investment advisor sits on Republic’s board of directors.

Republic Services provides residential and commercial recycle and yard waste disposal services to communities across our region. Some of the cities the company serves include Bellevue, Hunts Point, Medina, Kenmore, Lake Forest Park, North Bend, Auburn, Sammamish, Kent, Renton, Covington, Maple Valley, Black Diamond, Lynnwood, Monroe, Edmonds, and commercial recycle disposal in the City of Seattle.

Teamsters Local 117 represents 17,000 working people across Washington State including 130 recycle and yard waste drivers who are employed by Republic Services.