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Chula Vista City Council votes unanimously for public emergency in sanitation strike

"We need a fair contract with respect and dignity and wages they deserve for dangerous job," said Chula Vista Mayor Mary Casillas Salas.

CHULA VISTA, Calif. — Due to technical difficulties Friday, the Chula Vista City Council reconvened Saturday for a special meeting.

They did have some technical difficulties once again getting the Mayor of Chula Vista’s vote, however, she was able to call in.

They voted unanimously to declare a public health emergency which clears the way for Chula Vista to legally hire outside contractors to pick up the trash and then bill Republic Services for that work.

Sanitation workers have been on strike against Republic Services for a month. They’re asking for higher wages, safer working conditions and new and improved trash trucks. Their strike has led to piles and piles of trash overflowing dumpsters all over San Diego County.

"There are penalties and fines, we have to document those. When it reaches a certain threshold, we can potentially remove the contract and this gives us leverage to hopefully come to an agreement," said John McCann.

To help with this mess, Republic Services has over one hundred Blue Crew members in the market picking up the trash.

"Doing the work that Republic should be doing. We need a fair contract with respect and dignity and wages they deserve for a dangerous job," said Chula Vista Mayor Mary Casillas Salas.

San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria says he is giving the company until Monday to make an agreement, adding this situation is unacceptable and a public health and safety threat. He says his next steps are to fine the company and further options are suspension and termination of the franchise.

"Thank you everyone during this crisis that has gone a month long. Thank you to residents for being understanding and patient. I know we are used to seeing a beautiful city," said Chula Vista Mayor Casillas Salas.

The city also has an email and call center for residents to report overflowing trash. The services will be available on Tuesday which is also when Chula Vista City Council will have their next meeting at 5 p.m.

WATCH RELATED: Chula Vista to declare a State of Public Health Emergency due to trash not being removed