Trash might stop piling up across Orange County as the holiday season draws near, after striking waste collection workers and their union struck a tentative deal with the company, Republic Services.
Adan Alvarez, a spokesperson for the Teamsters 396 union, which represents Republic workers and authorized the strike, said a tentative agreement for employees in Anaheim and Huntington Beach will be voted on by striking workers today at a 2 p.m. meeting.
If employees opt for the contract, it would end the strike for employees in Huntington Beach and other cities in the county and things could go back to normal next week or sooner.
“A fair agreement was reached that addresses the workers’ concerns,” said Alvarez, adding that they’re hopeful a stronger contract will help give workers a voice to address their concerns.
When asked if Republic Services fails to live up to the agreement, would workers go back on strike, Alvarez had this to say:
“Our members have demonstrated that they’re willing to stand up for their rights and demonstrate that their needs need to be addressed.”
On Wednesday, workers and union representatives told Voice of OC that employees are looking for more reasonable work hours and better working conditions.
When asked how Republic Services would shorten working hours for staff, Alvarez said it was up to the company to decide.
“One way they could do that is staffing up, but that’s a question for Republic Services,” he said.
Republic hasn’t returned a request for comment.
Meanwhile, cities have been putting out news releases.
“There is a tentative agreement to resume waste collection service in Anaheim, with Republic Services workers off the picket line this morning,” reads a press release from the city of Anaheim. “In coming days, we expect to see service start to normalize and get better each day into next week.”
But Alvarez said it depends on the vote today.
The strike was authorized Nov. 23, after the union’s previous contract with Republic expired and the two groups failed to reach an agreement on a new one.
Here are the cities with areas serviced by Republic, according to city officials and the company website:
- Huntington Beach
- Fountain Valley
- Garden Grove
- Seal Beach
- Yorba Linda
- Chino Hills (San Bernardino County)
- Villa Park
- La Habra Heights
Brandon Pho contributed to the reporting in this article.
Hosam Elattar is a Voice of OC Reporting Fellow. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @ElattarHosam.