Sanitation workers continue strike in New Year

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SAN DIEGO (KGTV) – Two weeks later, San Diego County sanitation workers remain on strike, leaving trash to pile up outside homes and businesses.

Members of the Teamsters 542 union said their message remains the same: they deserve better wages, benefits and safety equipment.

It’s not something either side wanted. But negotiations between Republic Services and the workers’ union continue into the new year.

Remember when Hercules went from zero to hero? Michael Bernardo, a garbage collector for eight years, said what was happening to them right now was exactly the opposite.

“We were dealing with garbage and masks are here,” Bernardo said of their vital work during the height of the pandemic. “We were praying to God that we didn’t catch COVID and bring it to our families. We were heroes in everyone’s eyes and in the company. But now it’s time to negotiate a fair contract, they treat us like we are zeros. “

As garbage and recyclables continue to pile up in San Diego homes, the City of San Diego is stepping in now. In a letter sent to Republic Services on Thursday, the city said the company was not sticking to its deal. He said the company has agreed to pick up trash at least once a week and comply with the city’s recycling ordinance. According to the agreement, social unrest is no excuse for skipping services. The city is now urging the company to come up with a solution in writing by January 3, 2022.

ABC 10News has contacted Republic Services for comment. They sent us this statement which reads:

“We continue to make progress in collecting garbage for our customers with the help of our relief drivers from the Blue Crew. Although Thursday’s negotiations failed to reach a deal, we remain committed to negotiating in good faith for a fair contract for all. “

Relations with the media of the services of the Republic

But Bernardo said the out-of-town, non-union Blue Crew was not cutting him off.

“The only people who can best serve our communities are us,” said Bernardo. “This is our city.”

As the New Year approaches, Bernardo said he just wants to do what he does best.

“We are sorry for the inconvenience caused,” he told the community. “We would like to get back to work as soon as possible and clean up the whole community like it’s brand new again.”

At noon on Friday, the strikers broke up to be with their families for the New Year. They plan to be back online Sunday at 4 a.m. Negotiations with the services of the Republic resume on January 4, 2022.

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