OAKLAND — After a nudge from Oakland's mayor-elect Ron Dellums, landfill workers approved a contract with Waste Management late Friday, avoiding a strike and the prospect of trash bags piling up along East Bay streets.

About 80 members of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union Local 6 voted to ratify a contract that will give them a $3.35-an-hour pay increase over the five-year contract, plus a lump-sum payment of $3,200 to cover the pay hike retroactive to the old contract's expiration 17 months ago. Top pay will increase from $22 per hour to $28 per hour.

The key issue that sparked the strike threat Wednesday was Waste Management's insistence on a new deduction for medical insurance.

"We're very satisfied," said Fred Pecker, Local 6 secretary-treasurer. "It would have been a real nightmare, and I'm very glad we were able to avoid this."

The new contract affects employees at three landfills: Altamont Pass, the Davis Street Transfer Station in San Leandro and the Tri-Cities Landfill in Fremont. Altamont also accepts garbage from Daly City.

Waste Management officials were unavailable for comment, but issued a statement that they were pleased that its employees accepted the contract.

Pecker said the final deal came after Dellums made calls to the company and to the union through the Alameda Central Labor Council.


A strike would have affected Albany, Berkeley, Emeryville, Oakland, San Ramon, Castro Valley, Union City, Newark, Hayward, Fremont, San Leandro, San Lorenzo and Livermore.