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Friday, July 13, 2007

Livid Teamsters spread trash pickets

Angry union bosses Friday expanded their response to a nearly two-week-old East Bay garbage workers lockout by setting up picket lines at Waste Management facilities in three new cities - Walnut Creek, Stockton and Senora. Union boss Chuck Mack said the new picket lines were set up to put added pressure on the company. "Waste Management has had our members locked out for two weeks," he told KTVU. "That's a lot of pain, a lot of suffering. We felt it was time and appropriate that we stand up for our members and expand the picket lines to put pressure on the company."

Locked out workers were not the only ones stepping up pressure on the company that collects garbage and recyclables in Albany, Castro Valley, Emeryville, Hayward, Newark, Oakland and parts of San Lorenzo and San Leandro.

Oakland Mayor Ron Dellums and other city officials went to court Thursday in an effort to settle the labor dispute.

But officials with Waste Management Inc. said the city's quest for an injunction was unnecessary because the company has already hired more temporary workers to replace locked out garbage truck drivers.

The problem started in early July when Waste Management locked out nearly 500 drivers in a dispute with the Teamsters union.

Since then, the city has received hundreds of complaints from residents about uncollected garbage.

After behind-the-scenes negotiations failed, Dellums and City Attorney John Russo asked an Alameda County Superior Court judge to order Waste Management to pick up the rapidly ripening trash immediately.