Republic Services estimates it will remove trash for Chula Vista’s roughly 54,000 customers by the end of the month, but it has yet to let them know when they will be credited for weeks in which no collection occurs. took place.
More than 250 sanitation workers from Teamsters Local 542 went on strike Dec. 17 to demand better wages and benefits. Negotiations with Republic Services and its workers ended on Monday and employees returned to work on Tuesday, but getting rid of the accumulated trash was no small feat.
Darrell Reno, the operations manager who oversees the company’s San Diego region and who said he was on the negotiating team, told the Chula Vista City Council on Tuesday that he believed here “the following Saturday everything should be cleaned”.
Out-of-zone drivers will stay on the job to help Republic get up to speed, but, he added, “we’re still going to have those trouble spots.” He thanked the city for extending its workers to help pick up trash despite negotiations ending.
To help streamline the company’s return to normal operations, Chula Vista council members on Tuesday ratified a local health emergency, which City Manager Maria Kachadoorian issued Jan. 12. The move allows the city to keep more than 30 city employees and contractors working for Hope and Alpha Project picking up trash in some of the hardest-hit neighborhoods. They are expected to continue their cleanup efforts through the end of the week.
City crews focused their efforts on about 500 multi-family complexes, which were disproportionately affected by the work stoppage, city officials said. As of Jan. 15, city employees have maintained 213 multi-family units, collecting more than 134,000 pounds of trash using up to 8 vehicles, said Manuel Medrano, the city’s environmental services manager.
Acknowledging that accumulated trash won’t disappear overnight, Chula Vista officials announced Tuesday that they have made available a phone number and email address for apartments and condos to report overflows. waste.
Property managers must provide their name, contact information, and address by calling 619-409-5977 or emailing [email protected] to receive service. The city advises residential or commercial properties to contact the services of the Republic.
Board members pressured Reno to find out when Republic Services would credit customers for the month of December, demanding that it provide a date.
“Please don’t go back and forth and give us justifications (on) why you should do this or that. Just do the right thing,” said Reno council member Jill Galvez.
“We still have to look at that,” Reno said. “My first concern and my main concern is to get the trash off the ground. We need to come together to talk about what that looks like.
Employees of Teamsters Local 542 voted 137 to 70 on Monday to accept the waste hauler’s offer. The workers, who were earning $24.60 an hour, agreed to a five-year contract with an hourly raise of $1.90 the first year, 50 cents each for the next three years, and $1.50 the final year. according to the union. The workers will also receive a bonus of $1,000 each. The workers demanded a wage increase of $2 an hour in the first year, followed by $1 in each of the remaining years.
Reno told the board that employees returned to work “in good spirits”, adding that “what happened has happened and it’s time to clean up the city.”
However, council members disputed Reno’s statement.
“It’s not just what happened, because what happened, happened not only to the Teamsters, but also to our community and the reputation of the city of Chula Vista,” said the Mayor Mary Casillas Salas in Reno.
Councilman Steve Padilla said he still wants the city to review the liquidated damages provisions in the contract between the Republic and Chula Vista, which expires in 2024.