Garbage strike causes two-day trash backup


The 48-hour strike by 13 workers at Ox Mountain Landfill ended with employees returning to work Friday, but 36,000 customers in various San Mateo County communities will not have their trash picked up until two days after their regularly scheduled pickup, Allied Waste spokeswoman Peg Mulloy said.

"We had to focus most of our efforts to schools and hospitals, so many of the residents haven't received our service," Mulloy said.

The strike began Wednesday because employees at Ox Mountain, which is owned by Allied Waste, disputed wording in their contracts about pensions.

Allied Waste expected the 13 Ox Mountain employees to strike, but managers were caught off guard when an additional 250 truck drivers and administrative staff also went on strike at a San Carlos garbage facility.

The San Carlos strike was done in support of the strike at Ox Mountain, but also because a local union claimed women were not being paid as much as men, Mulloy said.

She added that while Allied Waste managers are still negotiating with the 13 workers, the company will not address the dispute of gender inequality.

"It's like comparing apples to oranges," Mulloy said.

She said the San Carlos facility has predominantly female administrative staff and predominantly male drivers and mechanics.

"They are two different skill sets and two different pay grades," she said.

Allied Waste managers have not reached an agreement with the 13 workers that went on strike, but will continue to negotiate the matter in good faith. There are no planned firings at this time.

"This dispute is part of the natural course of things," Mulloy said.

Residents whose trash is typically collected Wednesday should have it picked up on Friday, and Thursday trash collections should move to Saturday.

The strike impacted trash collection in San Carlos, Hillsborough, Redwood City, Belmont, Foster City, Menlo Park, and unincorporated areas of the county, Mulloy said.

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