By COLIN STAUB
Ridwell, a company that provides curbside collection of hard to recycle items via a subscription service, has its first union locations in Washington state.
Workers at Ridwell operations in Seattle and Fife, Washington voted 37-3 to affiliate with Teamsters Local 117 in ballots counted Nov. 23. They formed a bargaining unit of 56 drivers and warehouse workers.
Ridwell, which launched in 2018, collects items that typical curbside recycling programs don’t accept, like batteries, lightbulbs, plastic clamshell containers, plastic film and more.
Announcing the election results, Local 117 said workers unionized because they want a voice in setting wages and benefits, safety policies and scheduling. Unlike so many other employers, Ridwell remained neutral during the union campaign, Local 117 said.
“[Ridwell] set an excellent example, which worker-exploiting and union-busting industry giants like Amazon and Starbucks should follow,” said Local 117 Secretary-Treasurer John Scearcy in the press statement.
Ridwell also operates in the Portland area, and in California, Colorado, Minnesota and Texas.
Local 117 represents workers in more than 200 public and private sector workplaces across Washington.