The extended contract for most employees of Rock River Disposal expires Saturday. This is the company which picks up trash for the city of Rockford.
Saturday's vote comes after union leaders achieved a second tentative contract agreement on Friday. The union membership voted down the last proposed contract on Monday.
Drivers weren't happy the company wanted to cut out bonuses. Union negotiators had said the first deal was fair. But the rank and file workers disagreed.
According to an experienced labor negotiator, Bob O'Connell, another vote against a tentative contract could cause big problems. "If the union and company can't reach an agreement they generally have to go on strike or use economic leverage. Trust me a lot of people want to have their garbage picked up so teamster's union has some leverage here," said O'Connell.
A spokeswoman for Rock River Disposal says she's confident about this new contract offer, and Rockford’s garbage service will continue.
So it all comes down to what members of the union decide on Saturday. They could accept the new contract, ask for another extension, or decide to go on strike.
Rock River Disposal picks up trash in Rockford, Loves Park, Machesney Park and other communities in the Stateline. Plus it takes care of many private business garbage contracts.