Los Angeles –- Los Angeles garbage truck drivers working for Houston-based Waste Management Inc. are preparing to strike because the company rejected their requests for salary and benefit increases. The drivers are represented by Teamsters Local 396, which asked Waste Management for a 70-percent salary and benefit increase after the company offered a 38-percent increase. Waste Management released a statement saying the company is hopeful negotiations can continue and a strike can be avoided. The company serves approximately 350 routes in the Los Angeles area. All 500 employees reported to work Monday. Contract negotiations will resume Thursday.