Republic Services and the Teamsters Local 542, which will return to the negotiating table Tuesday morning, have been in a standoff for weeks as negotiations stalled. In the meantime, trash and recycling collections have stalled or been delayed for thousands of customers in Chula Vista and parts of San Diego.
“We’re also still paying for a service,” Chula Vista homeowner Ron Blakely said with a sigh. “We’re not getting refunded for trash that’s not getting picked up. So, of course, there’s going to be a breaking point at some point.”
On Monday, NBC 7 reached out to Republic Services and the union with specific questions about what each sides was offering or requesting. Neither offered any specific details.
“We’re not able to comment on details of the negotiations,” a Republic Services representative said in an email. "However, we can confirm that the next bargaining session is scheduled for tomorrow morning.
NBC 7 was also directed to previous statement the company issued
“Republic Services is operating on our regular trash collection schedule this week in Chula Vista with the help of our Blue Crew relief drivers, and we continue to make progress with servicing our customers. All accumulated trash will be collected. We remain committed to bargaining in good faith for a contract that is fair for all and look forward to resuming negotiations this week.”
Local Teamsters secretary/treasurer Jaime Vasquez offered a little more information Monday when he emailed NBC 7/
“The members on strike are seeking improvement to their current working conditions, such as better equipment and safety gear, which has been addressed in negotiations,” Vasquez stated. “We are now in the economic stage, and our members are seeking an offer from the company that reflects a compensation that not only addresses their contribution to the company but also the rising cost of living in San Diego.”
Blakely just wants his bins to be emptied.
“It couldn’t come at a worse time with the holidays and stuff," Blakely said. "You got a whole bunch of stuff that can go into the recycle bins that’s just not picked up.”