Councilmember John McCann proposed that residents of Chula Vista should not pay their monthly bills to the company that has failed regularly to collect trash for over a month.
Monday marks the one-month anniversary since over 250 Republic Services sanitation workers went on strike. Although the company managed to collect the waste with many delays a couple of times, their services remain irregular.
“Republic Services can not charge for collection services that are not carried out,” said McCann. “If someone doesn't provide the service, our Chula Vista residents should use that money to do the work themselves.”
Many Chula Vista residents have driven their trash to the municipal landfill in Otay Mesa.
The company regularly charges about $50 a month for residential service, but rates increase for multifamily and commercial complexes.
McCann, a Republican representing Chula Vista's District 1, also proposed that pending negotiations between Republic and the workers – 180 of them assigned to Chula Vista and 70 to San Diego – should be assigned garbage collection points in the city.
The landfill is near to those residing in Eastlake and east of Interstate 805, but considerably far for those who live in western Chula Vista.
“These sites would be staffed by city employees. Equipment, transportation, and staff will be paid for by Republic Services,” the councilman said.
Meanwhile, San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria warned that Republic could be fined for breach of contract as early as Monday.
The mayor said if that measure doesn't resolve the situation, the city of San Diego could consider terminating Republic's contract. His colleague in Chula Vista, Mary Casillas Salas, has also mentioned that possibility.
At the Republic Services facility in Otay Mesa, the workers maintain a permanent presence in the strike.
One leader, Luis Saldaña, told Chula Vista Today that workers "are already beginning to feel the pressure of not having money to pay our expenses and the possibility that we may need health services while we don't have insurance."
County Supervisor Nora Vargas said, “Chula Vista is showing solidarity and leadership with our essential sanitation workers; We must do the right thing and deliver a contract that they deserve for the hard work they do for our communities.”