Thousands of South Bay residents put their trash cans out on Wednesday, but they were never emptied. Turns out, roughly 300 union employees with Republic Services Inc., a solid waste collection company, decided to skip work to support their colleagues in Massachusetts.
Union employees in Massachusetts said they are having hard time getting a contract with Republic Services Inc., so local union members walked out to support their friends, said San Diego-based Teamsters Labor Union President, Phil Farias.
"I was wondering why. I wanted to call and say, 'Hey, what happened?'" said Chula Vista Resident, Susana. "But it’s a good thing that they’re supporting, but I mean, if it’s affecting our neighborhood, it’s not that great."
Chula Vista City Councilman John McCann told NBC 7 he thinks the union dispute shouldn’t impact the South Bay when it’s happening miles away.
“It’s unfortunate that they would do this when it doesn’t have anything to do with us,” McCann said.
Local waste workers returned to work Thursday.
A Republic Services spokesperson said they are now treating the rest of the week like a holiday, so South Bay residents can expect to have their trash picked up one day late.
"I mean, if it’s only one day behind, it doesn’t affect that much but still, I think it’s inconvenient," said Susana.
Farias said they don’t have another day-long picket planned but said they will do it again if their colleagues need the support because their contract allows them to participate in pickets without fear or retribution from their employers, even if it's 3,000 miles away.