Washington state trash haulers authorize strike

SEATTLE — Hundreds of unionized garbage haulers in King and Snohomish counties have voted to authorize a strike if their contract dispute isn't settled this week.

Teamsters Local 174 announced the results of the strike vote Sunday. The union represents more than 450 trash haulers for Waste Management and about 100 more for Allied Waste.

The vote means a strike could be called as soon as midnight Wednesday, when contracts covering garbage haulers for more than 1 million local homes and businesses expire.

If a strike occurs, the companies are expected to bring in workers from around the country to continue garbage service.

"We do not believe a strike would be good for the Local or members of the community," Michael Gonzales, spokesman for Teamsters Local 174, told The Seattle Times. "But at this point, it seems to be where the companies are pushing us."

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