by Photo by Manuel Ocaño

On Sunday, Republic Services announced their “ last, best, and final offer” after numerous and extended bargaining sessions with sanitation workers and their union, Teamsters Local 542 over several months. 

Over 250 workers went on strike exactly a month ago, calling for better wages and safer working conditions. The workers currently earn $24.60 an hour, and they seek $2 pay increases within the first year of a new contract, and $1 raises over four years.

“ We continue to be disappointed in the union’s inability to come forth with a realistic offer for this market. The communities of San Diego and Chula Vista have paid the price of the union’s approach, and we continue to do everything in our power to move the process forward. To that end, we have presented the union with a last, best, and final offer that includes significant increases in wages and benefits in addition to other enhancements to our employees’ total compensation packages. In an effort to finally resolve this long-running dispute, we even included a new and significant financial incentive for employees tied to ratification and agreement by the union,” Republic Services said in an emailed statement to Chula Vista Today. 

The company said they “continue to be grateful” for its standing partnership with the cities of Chula Vista and San Diego. 

“We share our community’s frustration that the union-led work stoppage has yet to be resolved. As we’ve said all along, we conducted extensive market analysis and found that our wages and benefits were very competitive among our industry within this market. Given the union’s continued insistence on unreasonable terms, this is our last, best, and final offer,” Republic Services said. 

A declaration of Public Health Emergency was ratified by Chula Vista city leaders Saturday evening, threatening to begin billing the company by the city for their uncompleted services. The emergency declaration was ordered by City Manager Maria V. Kachadoorian on Jan. 12. 

“After the first 24 hours of trash not being picked up we can fine a $15 per resident charge onto Republic Services and after that $25 each and every day that trash is not picked up,” Galvez said.

Crews of city workers of different departments were tasked to collect mounting trash that has created public health hazards and attracted a slew of pests and vermin. Private contractors have also collected the overflowing trash in Chula Vista and some parts of San Diego. 

On Jan.14, the city of San Diego joined Chula Vista in demanding the waste company to settle the strike, which has gone on for exactly a month. The entire City of Chula Vista and some areas in San Diego have felt the strike's impact. 

Mayor Todd Gloria made announcements similar to Chula Vista in the waste hauler’s failure to settle the dispute may lead to fines and possibly terminating their contract. 

The City of Chula Vista demanded that Republic Services provide by Jan.18 to provide the city a plan to credit its customers for the services they did not receive during the month-long strike.

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