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More than 100,000 customers could be affected by waste workers strike

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LOWELLVILLE, Ohio - More than 100,000 customers could see a delay in curbside pick up if a strike initiated by workers at Allied Waste in Youngstown is not resolved.

Lou Vega, the Interim Director for the Mahoning County Green Team says that a recycling impact will be felt across the entire county for curbside service.

Trash workers initiated a work stoppage as of 11 p.m. Wednesday night at locations in the Mahoning Valley causing an initial delay in curbside trash pick up Thursday morning in the Youngstown-Warren Metropolitan area that includes Mahoning, Trumbull and Columbiana counties and parts of western Pennsylvania.

About four picketers were outside the Allied offices here and 23 more teamsters, some wearing signs that read "I am a man on strike", were on the picket line outside the Carbon Limestone Landfill in Lowellville.

The Teamsters Local 377 union, which represents 100 drivers working for Allied, alleges the company is breaking national labor laws. Representatives with Allied declined to respond to the allegations.

The union rejected a proposal to extend their contracts with Allied in October but drivers continued working.

The company offered to fund employee 401Ks rather than pay into the union's pension fund, which they claim could run dry in the next 10 to 15 years.

A little before 6 a.m. Thursday, Allied reported an unspecified problem for their Republic Services routes in Mahoning and Trumbull counties causing the delays.

Republic Services did issue a statement acknowledging the strike, saying they are still gathering information.

"We are leaning more details and want to assure our customers that we are committed to meeting their waste and recycling needs in a timely manner and appreciate their patience as we more forward," says Doug Dunn, general manager of Republic Services.

Our Indiana affiliate, WFIE 14 News, reports Republic Services workers in Evansville, In. were also picketing Thursday morning in support of the Youngstown workers.

Customers using Republic Services in the valley for curbside trash pick up can expect delays Thursday and possibly Friday, but a representative with Allied says they are trying to handle the disruption in service now.

The company is expected to release a statement Thursday.

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