STEVE MAYNARD; Staff writer
Published: 04/23/1012:05 am

Striking garbage haulers in King and Snohomish counties said they will return to work today without a contract “to prevent a public health crisis.”

The garbage workers’ union and Waste Management agreed to resume bargaining Monday morning, meeting with a federal mediator, the company said.

“We are glad the Teamsters have announced that they will return to work (today), but feel that this unfortunate situation could have been avoided entirely had the union simply responded to our earlier request to meet,” Waste Management spokeswoman Jackie Lang said in a statement Thursday. “We look forward to our drivers returning to work (today) to provide Friday collection services as scheduled.”

Union representatives said Thursday that they expect 700 workers to get back to the job today and catch up on collecting trash that has not been picked up since Wednesday, when workers went on strike.

The trash haulers said they are going back to work at the urging of the Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn and King County Executive Dow Constantine.

Read more: Garbage strike suspended | Local News - The News Tribune