by Photo by Manuel Ocaño

The waste collection company Republic Services has ignored requests to repay about 50,000 Chula Vista residents for the money it collected for services that were not provided during a month-long strike between December and January.

The city of Chula Vista summoned Republic Services representatives for a meeting to discuss those charges, but the company ignored the appointment.

City Manager Maria Kachadoorian scheduled a meeting on Jan.7 with Republic to request repayment by credit to city residents.

Meanwhile, Republic Services and its subsidiary, Allied Waste Systems, have yet to respond to a class-action lawsuit filed in federal court in San Diego for the same billing for services not provided.

The class-action charges Republic and Allied with unlawful enrichment by charging for services they did not provide, and with violating state laws regulating unfair business competition in California.

The lawsuit calls for compensation and for Republic to cover attorneys' fees in the lawsuit.

Participating in the class action is the Hariri Law Group of San Diego and the Khashayan Law Group of Vista.

About 150 Republic employees held a strike from Dec. 17 to Jan. 17 to demand better working conditions. The strike ended when Republic agreed to raise workers on 10-year contracts $5 an hour, but the company charged for the month of the strike as if it had provided services.

According to the class-action lawsuit, the lack of services was particularly difficult during the holiday season, and residents had to take their waste to the dumps themselves due to the lack of services.

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