Teamsters Local 542 union held a rally Sunday as the delays in garbage collection in the city of Chula Vista and parts of San Diego County continue.
Members of the Local 542 union were joined by local leaders demanding for a better labor contract that primarily serves the city of Chula Vista and some zip codes in southern San Diego County
“We are here in solidarity, making sure public work that is being done, is being done in a way that the workers are being respected," Georgette Gomez, former council president of the city of San Diego said.
Republic Services said in a statement Sunday that they were "disappointed that the parties did not reach an agreement on a new labor contract during our Christmas Eve negotiations with the union."
"Republic will continue to negotiate in good faith for a fair and competitive contract so that we can resume waste and recycling collection in San Diego County and Chula Vista as soon as possible. We are doing everything within our power to resume normal service and continue to thank customers for their patience and understanding," Republic Services said.
Around 300 members of the Local 542 union say they were forced to stop working and show their dissatisfaction with the lack of an acceptable labor contract for them, which has not materialized for several weeks.
Secretary Treasurer of Local 542 Jamie Vasquez backed workers at the rally.
“We’re standing behind you, we’re not just saying it with word, we’re doing it with action. We’re 100% with you until the company tells us and provides you with an offer that you can go ahead and vote on and accept,” Vasquez said. "We’re telling the company today to return to the table and offer you a dignified contract."
The dispute in San Diego is one of several other contracts that the Teamsters are currently negotiating across the country.
The company Republic Services did not go into details about the negotiations, but in a statement said they respect the rights of their employees who want to participate in them.
Republic Services added that the company proceeds in good faith to reach a fair and competitive employment contract while continuing to work to continue the service as soon as possible thanking the patience of its customers.
The company issued the following recommendations for customers affected by the strike:
- Take out the garbage on the assigned day of garbage collection.
- Place excess trash in bags on the side of the trash bin.
- If the bin is not picked up on the scheduled day, customers are asked to leave the bin on the sidewalk and it will be picked up "as soon as possible."
- During this time the yard waste, recycling and collection of large objects will be suspended.
- Commercial garbage collection will be limited, giving priority to businesses affecting public health such as hospitals.
Chula Vista residents and businesses may take their trash to the Otay Landfill at 1700 Maxwell Rd, Chula Vista, 91911 during regular business hours. The city said residents will not be charged but must show proof of city residency. And businesses will need to identify as city businesses.
Trash has not been picked up in Chula Vista and South San Diego since Dec 17.