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Trash collectors strike, protest ‘immigration enforcement threat’

Trash pickup for roughly 12,000 Montgomery County homes was disrupted Monday when nearly 50 workers went on strike to protest what they called an “immigration enforcement threat.”

The strike disrupted trash and recycling pick-up for homes in Silver Spring, Wheaton, Bethesda, Chevy Chase and Rockville, Nicole Duarte, communications director for the Laborers’ International Union of North America, Mid-Atlantic Regional Organizing Coalition, told Patch.

Duarte said 47 of the 57 workers for the Gaithersburg-based trash collection firm were on strike Monday.

The strike is expected to continue Tuesday, Duarte, said, affecting about 18,000 homes in the River Road area of Bethesda and Potomac.

The workers have been negotiating for health insurance and a fair living wage. Currently, Potomac Disposal does not offer trash collection workers a health insurance plan. Trash collection truck drivers make between $120 and $130 a day (before taxes), while those who load trash into the trucks make between $60 and $70 a day, Duarte said.

More Follow External Link to Laura L. Thornton and Tiffany Arnold, Rockville Patch