Written by William Hekman
A month-long strike has come to an end as Teamsters Local 542 and Republic Services have come to an agreement. The strike began on December 17th of last year and led to a number of disruptions in trash pickup in Chula Vista and some parts of the City of San Diego. The city of Chula Vista has said that trash pickup will resume starting today.
Chula Vista Mayor Mary Salas stated, “I am glad that the strike has been settled”. Salas also thanked the residents of Chula Vista, “for their patience through this difficult and unprecedented situation.” San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria also expressed that he is glad the strike is over. Gloria threatened Republic Services with terminating the city’s franchise agreement if they did not end the work stoppage this week. Just last Sunday, Republic gave the workers on strike a, “last, best and final offer that includes significant increases in wages and benefits in addition to other enhancements to our employees’ total compensation packages”. The entire offer has yet to be published, but union members voted 137-70 to approve the agreement. The agreement does include a $1,000 bonus for returning back and a $4.90 increase per hour over the next five years.
Prior to the agreement, Chula Vista unanimously voted in a special session on Saturday to declare the situation a public health emergency due to the amount of trash that had not been picked up. The city council was also considering fines against Republic Services.
Photo Cred: Chris Stone/ Times of San Diego