- Employees of the North County Recycling Center & Sanitary Landfill are among approximately 4,000 people on strike in California's San Joaquin County.
- The contract for members of Service Employee International Union (SEIU) Local 1021 expired on June 30 after negotiations fell through.
- On Tuesday, 25 landfill employees stood outside the facility's entrance with picket signs for more than 10 hours to protest unfair labor laws.
According to the county, negotiations began in February and have continued over the course of 19 sessions since then. Officials said the remaining issues are salaries—the county offered a 6% increase over three years, while SEIU wants 13%—and floating holiday benefits. Union officials say that the county has delayed the bargaining process and discriminated against members, among other charges.
Now entering its third day, the strike has shut down all county facilities except the hospital—though employees had previously threatened to walk out of there as well. Officials have told people to use other local landfills until the county-operated site can be reopened.
Full-scale strikes are rare in the waste industry, but still just as disruptive when they do occur. As evidenced by a recent multi-day strike by sanitation workers leading up to a major soccer tournament in Paris, it doesn't take much time for garbage to pile up quickly when not collected.