'Sympathy strike' disrupts Bay Area garbage service


Full trash bins may become a commonplace sight in cities all over the region for the next few days or as long as a week. A garbage strike against the company in Ohio, that's largely owned by Bill Gates, is being honored here in the Bay Area.

Jersey Joe's in Half Moon Bay opened four days ago. Owner Don Godshall says he doesn't need to deal with a garbage strike hitting his new business. If his trash isn't picked up Friday, it will possibly sit another week and that's not good.

"For smell, again it's very close to my facility," Godshall said. "The smell and then you've got the birds and raccoons and everybody gets involved, it'll be a party out there."

He's also concerned about the possible health hazard, and he's not alone. In Daly City Harold Hafalla's full trash bins were not picked up on schedule.

"That's not, you know, sanitary," Hafalla said. "It's a hazard, first of all."

Teamsters at the Daly City offices of Allied Waste Services have set up a picket line in support of a strike in Ohio. More than 400 local Teamsters have walked out and are being supported by several other unions.

"Observing picket lines, we have a local in Youngstown, Ohio Local 377. They extended the picket lines to this area and other areas across the country," said Robert Morales, secretary treasurer for Teamsters Local 350.

Teamsters are also asking Microsoft's Bill Gates, who owns a majority share in the company, to support their bid for a new contract.

Dozens of Allied trucks are sitting idle in lots across the Bay Area. Allied Waste and Republic Services has thousands of customers in as many as seven cities in the Bay Area, including Fremont and Half Moon Bay. Teamsters set up a picket line at the company's transfer station on Highway 92.

"It creates a service disruption and a service delay," said Allied's Division Manager Evan Boyd. "We're doing what we can to mitigate the issue on the must-service customers like hospitals and large accounts."

Teamsters say the sympathy picket lines will only last a couple of days. The waste management companies say they will try to get any delayed trash pickups as soon as the picket signs go down.

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