SANTA ANA (CNS) - A week-long trash pick-up strike in Anaheim and Huntington Beach neared an official end today, with the union representing some 400 striking sanitation workers announcing a tentative deal with both cities.
``A tentative agreement has been reached between Republic Services at Anaheim and Huntington Beach and Teamsters Local 396,'' the union said in a statement Thursday.
``After several bargaining sessions with Republic Services, Teamsters Local 396 has now reached a tentative agreement with the company which includes a commitment to cease engaging in unfair labor practices and a fair contract for workers at Anaheim and Huntington Beach.''
When asked if trash pickup could resume by Friday, Adan Alvarez of Teamsters Local 396, said, ``Yes, that's possible.''
The union hit the picket line last Thursday.
``There is a tentative agreement to resume waste collection service in Anaheim, with Republic Services workers off the picket line this morning,'' Anaheim officials said in a statement Thursday.
``Today (Thursday) we will continue to see limited but expanding service for scheduled pickup areas and priority sites. In coming days, we expect to see service start to normalize and get better each day into next week.''
Anaheim's announcement came before the tentative deal was also announced with Huntington Beach -- but Huntington Beach officials had earlier said they were optimistic a resolution could be reached this week.
``This morning, Republic Services indicated that the labor strike that abruptly halted trash collection services throughout Huntington Beach may draw to a close this week,'' the city said in a release Thursday.
``Last night, Republic Services reached a tentative labor agreement with their labor union in Anaheim and expressed optimism that a similar agreement is near for the labor union serving Huntington Beach.''
Huntington Beach Mayor Barbara Delgleize said, ``I am hopeful that the progress being made on labor negotiations in other cities will lead to a positive outcome here in Huntington Beach. The need for regular trash service in our city is of critical importance, and I encourage Republic to work towards an expedient resolution, so that they may meet their contractual obligations to our community.''
About 400 workers for Republic Services from Teamsters Local 396 went on strike last week as they accused management of making ``unilateral changes without bargaining and threatening reprisals against employees who participate in union activity,'' according to a statement from the union.
The union's contract expired Sept. 30 and the sanitation workers voted Nov. 23 to authorize a strike.
The union represents workers in Santa Ana, Garden Grove, Anaheim, Huntington Beach and Seal Beach.
Republic Services issued this statement on Wednesday.
``Republic Services is encouraged that negotiations have resumed with the union representing our Orange County employees, and we feel we are making progress toward a competitive contract that is fair for all. Republic is grateful for the support of our municipal partners, in particular, the city of Anaheim and its leaders, who have played a key role in facilitating the restoration of collection service across the region and encouraged a resolution to the work stoppage. This collaborative approached across all of the cities we serve will be essential to resuming normal service for our customers as quickly as possible.''