WPCNR COUNTY CLARION-LEDGER. By John F. Bailey. November 29, 2012 UPDATED 11:25 A.M E.S.T.:
Teamsters Local 813 is picketing the White Plains garbage transfer station on Brockway Place this morning.
City of White Plains Sanitation Truck being waved off entrance to garbage offloading area this morning by Teamsters Pickets.
The picketing protests the Westchester County garbage hauling contractor hiring non-union drivers to drive the transfer trucks that cart garbage from White Plains to the county disposal plant in Peekskill.
Phil Oliva, of the County Executive Robert Astorino's office, told WPCNR at midday that he expected the dispute to be resolved today (and not interrupt garbage collection). He said the Carting Company had the right to hire non-union workers as long as the company paid the "prevailing wage."
Karen Pasquale, Advisor to the Mayor of White Plains, told WPCNR this afternoon the action is not affecting city pick-up or disposal.
The protest started Thursday afternoon, pickets told WPCNR this morning and is over a contract dispute with City Carting, the county-contracted garbage hauler that has the county contract. WPCNR was told the picketing is also in effect at Yonkers and Mount Vernon. The dispute is not with City of White Plains practices.
Pickets said the teamsters have been without a contract with City Carting for a year and recently Carting had laid off five union drivers and started using non-union drivers to transfer the trash at least in White Plains.
The picket told WPCNR the teamsters voted down City Carting's recent contract offering because it called for almost zero raise increase over the next three years and raising union members' share of medical benefits of $30 a month share the first year, $60 the second year and $66 the third year. The picketer WPCNR spoke with, who requested anonymity because of fear of retaliation said the union realizes paying more for medical benefits is needed, but said it was too much of an increase. He also said the 7 year contract over raised wages only 75 cents an hour over seven years.
Several White Plains sanitation trucks with full loads were prevented from delivering their load of leaves to the transfer area during WPCNR observation this morning.
WPCNR has a call in to the Mayor's Office to ascertain how the inability to transfer garbage will affect garbage collection today and tomorrow.
Other transfer stations in Yonkers and Mount Vernon are also possible picket locations, a picket told WPCNR.
Mr. Oliva, speaking for the County Executive's office, said he had no knowledge that those cities were affected at this time.