Residents Supporting Trash Workers 8-Day Strike in Marshfield

Talks between the union and Republic Services broke down Thursday afternoon and it’s unclear when they might resume

Picketing garbage collectors who entering the eighth day of their strike in Marshfield, Massachusetts, are getting support from town residents, who are taking out the trash on their own.

Rather than hauling their garbage to the curb for replacement drivers brought in by Republic Services, a company which handles trash collection in Marshfield, Abington and Rockland, many Marshfield residents are taking their garbage to the transfer station in town themselves for free.

But garbage has nevertheless begun to pile up on the curbs, bringing, "trash smells," resident Pam Vigneau said. "There's animals."

The strike has featured picket lines outside Republic Services headquarters at 965 Plain St. on Route 139 in Marshfield, and ithere's no sign of an immediate end — talks between the union and Republic Services broke down Thursday afternoon and it’s unclear when they might resume.

Teamsters Local 25, the union representing the garbage collectors, said last week that Republic Services has been unwilling to negotiate a new deal with competitive wages, health care and pensions.

"We want better healthcare, we want the benefits, we're trying to secure a better future for ourselves and our families," said Banel Michel, a Republic driver from Brockton.

Republic Services said that they want to "continue to work toward a fair contract" but "the Teamsters' conduct has been aimed at preventing collection service for these local communities over the past few days."

Replacement workers wouldn't speak with NBC10 Boston about what they've been dealing with trying to fill in, but police who've been following them around town did step in to make sure everyone stayed safe when striking workers confronted them.

The trash talking and uncertainty is beginning to wear on residents who want to be supportive of the workers but also want their garbage collected.

"I'll be happy when it's over. I'll be real happy when it's all over," Vigneau said.

The transfer station in Marshfield, located on Clay Pitt Road, will remain open for all residents through Saturday at 6 p.m.

In Rockland, residents can drop trash at the town's recycling center on 1000 Beech St., while Abington residents may continue to use its composting station at 171 Groveland St. until its dumpsters are full.

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