LAUREL, Md. (WNEW) — A strike by workers at a Maryland trash and recycling contractor could affect more than 12,600 homes in Bethesda, Aspen Hill, Colesville, northern Silver Spring and Gaithersburg, as well as 20,000 Howard County residents.
Unity Disposal and Recycling LLC, based in Laurel, is one of Montgomery County’s three collection services and one of Howard County’s five waste contractors.
Union workers there are represented by Laborers’ International Union of North America.
Dozens are picketing near the company’s facility off Old Gundpowder Road again Monday after talks between the two sides have come to an impasse.
“They’re steady adding on houses, developments and things,” negotiator Anthony Taylor tells WNEW’s John Domen. “Houses, townhouses. And there’s no increase in pay.”
Many of Unity’s workers reportedly get paid on a daily rate. Therefore, the more hours they work, the less they make per hour.
“Unity continues to operate successfully and has incurred no disruptions despite today’s strike,” says Max Gamara, Unity spokesman. “We remain in close contact with our county representatives and welcome our employees back to full active duty and to the bargaining table.”
Gamara says the strike is “more about a show than about achieving an agreement.”
The Montgomery County Division of Solid Waste Services has advised residents in Unity’s collection areas to put their trash and recycling out for collection by 7 a.m.
Howard County officials are also urging residents to place materials curbside as usual. They say they are working with Unity and other contractors to continue regularly scheduled pick-ups. Trash and food scraps will be top priority.
Unity serves 4 of the Montgomery County’s 13 service areas: 2, 3, 5 and 7.