by Photo by Fanny Miller

Approximately 250 sanitation workers went on strike for better working conditions and benefits provided by Republic Services, which continues days away from Christmas.

Until further notice, those in Chula VIsta and other parts of the county may take their trash to the Otay Landfill on 1700 Maxwell Road, Chula Vista and Sycamore Landfill on 8514 Mast Boulevard, Santee free of charge. 

Many residents and businesses have vocalized their frustration with the mounting uncollected trash in Chula Vista and San Diego’s Clairemont Mesa neighborhood. Since November the worker’s union, Teamsters Local 542, and Republic Services have been in contract negotiations.The workers walked out of the job on Dec.17 to address concerns including long hours, harassment and safety. 

“Republic Services is encouraged that negotiations have resumed with the union representing our San Diego employees and we hope to make progress toward a competitive contract that is fair for all. We respect the rights of our employees to engage in the collective bargaining process and continue to negotiate in good faith to achieve fair and competitive labor contracts,” the company said in a statement. 

The company has advised customers to leave waste containers out for collection in expectation of finding a resolution as soon as possible. 

"We are working hard to resume normal service as quickly as possible, and we thank our customers for their patience and understanding," the company said in a statement. 

According to Chula Vista Councilmember Jill Galvez, Republic Services reached out to the city for guidance, and the city will do whatever it can do to help the two come to an agreement. The strikers drew support from local government, including Supervisor Nora Vargas, Chula Vista Councilmembers Steve Padilla and John McCann, who joined the dozens of workers on site and took to social media to further advocate.  

Over 30,000 people are employed by  Republic Services, a company based in Phoenix, which  spans across 41 states. They are the second largest provider for waste collection and disposal, transfer and recycling services in the country. 

The international Brotherhood of Teamsters is based in Washington D.C, and represents approximately 7,000 Republic Service employees nationwide. 

The  following recommendations are provided by Republic Services  for customers affected by the strike:

  • Bring your waste cart out on your assigned collection day.
  • Place excess trash in bags on the side of the trash bin.
  • Leave the bin on the sidewalk even if it is full. It will be picked up "as soon as possible."
  • During this time the yard waste, recycling and collection of large objects will be suspended.
  • Commercial garbage collection will be limited, giving priority to businesses affecting public health such as hospitals.


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