Employees of Rock River disposal will continue to pick up our trash. After working on a contract extension for two weeks... they voted yes on a new deal today. Their union president, Steve Lindquist says "It's fair. We're satisfied."
Union members were telling a different story earlier this week. They voted down a proposal from the company on Monday.
That prompted Michael Ganus to join negotiators in their bargaining session yesterday. He admits, he had doubts. "I was really concerned we were going to end up on strike... that they wouldn't meet us on common ground."
Ganus and other union leaders didn't waiver until management agreed to let them keep their bonuses and give them a pay raise.
Next negotiators were faced with the task of convincing union members to accept this new contract. "I told them there are places like Sunstrand that are laying off 163 people and they would love to come in here. They might take a pay cut but they'll have a job," said Brad Plock, union steward.
Rock River disposal picks up the trash in Rockford and the surrounding areas. So drivers would also have to deal with a lot of angry residents in our area if they went on strike. "We didn't want that to happen. So we'll keep everybody working and the garbage picked up. The city's happy," said Lindquist.
Some of the truck drivers are making $60,000 a year. That's guaranteed for the next five years.