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Huntington Beach Declares Emergency Declaration Over Trash Workers' Strike

HUNTINGTON BEACH (CBSLA) — With hundreds of Orange County sanitation workers on a strike that is now in its second week, the Huntington Beach City Council declared a local emergency Wednesday in an effort to keep garbage from piling up on its streets.

oc sanitation workers strike
(credit: CBS)

Members of Teamsters Local 396 who work for Republic Services went on strike last week, citing the company's failure to reach a fair contract with the union. The workers' contract expired on Sept. 30.

The local emergency declaration authorized the city manager and fire chief to "implement temporary measures to mitigate the ongoing impacts of Republic Services' labor disputes and service disruptions," the city said in a new release.

The city said it is finalizing a "trash disruption mitigation response plan."

The plan will be implemented this weekend if a contract is not reached and Republic Services employees do not return to work.

For now, Huntington Beach residents were asked to keep putting their trash bins out on their regularly scheduled pick-up day and leave them out until it is picked up. The city says street sweeping will continue, but citations will not be issued through Dec. 26. Residents who need to dispose of trash immediately can do so at five temporary drop-off locations throughout the city, including the Gothard Street Public Works Yard, Greer Park, Edison Park, Murdy Park, and Meadowlark Golf.

The union has accused Republic Services of threatening to retaliate against its members for union activity and making "unilateral changes" without bargaining. Republic Services says they are working to resume normal services as quickly as possible while continuing to bargain in good faith with the union.

Republic Services provides trash service to Orange County's biggest cities and some of the county's major tourist attractions, like Disneyland.

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