Trash workers strike in Montgomery County - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

Trash workers strike in Montgomery County

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Trash collectors in Montgomery County have walked off the job. The problem is a union contract dispute involving Potomac Disposal, one of three Montgomery County garbage contractors.

The striking union workers are targeting their routes in parts of Bethesda, Potomac, Wheaton, Rockville and Silver Spring. The walkout started Monday and no one seems to know how long it will last.

The Liuna! union workers have been negotiating a new contract for the past several months. They are asking for sick days, vacation time and holidays, but say more than anything else, they want health insurance.

Union representative Jacob Alvial tells FOX 5 the last straw came after both sides couldn't agree and the company demanded they sign immigration verification papers.

"They brought a paper that was only given to the Spanish people, telling them by September 10th on Thursday they had to bring in all their legal documents. If not, they would be fired," he said.

Union leaders estimate that 85 percent of the work force is participating in their walkout, which affected 12,000 homes Monday and will reach 18,000 homes Tuesday.

The Montgomery County government issued a statement saying the strike would have little impact on service delivery since Potomac Disposal is one of three trash contractors in the county.

A spokeswoman asks customers to be patient and leave their trash on the curb. She says if it is not picked up by 7 p.m., call the county customer service number, 311.

Our calls to Potomac Disposal went unanswered.

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