Seattle area carpenters go on strike
A carpenters strike in Washington state is expected to slow work on hundreds of construction projects in the region, including Microsoft office projects.
The Seattle Times reports that the walkout for higher wages by the state’s carpenters is the first in nearly 20 years. With a 56% to 44% vote over the weekend, Northwest Carpenters Union members rejected a tentative contractual deal. Pickets were scheduled for Thursday.
However, most of the larger Seattle area projects, such as the construction of the Climate Pledge Arena and Sound Transit light railways, have agreements in place preventing a strike.
At these sites, unionized carpenters will continue to work and will donate part of their wages to a strike fund to support those who have resigned. According to the union, about 2,000 of the approximately 12,000 union members work at sites where they can strike.
Carpenters say they are pushing for bigger pay increases to keep up with the cost of living.
The Washington Association of General Contractors, which represents employers of carpenters, says it has offered workers a “solid package” of pay increases.
According to the union, a travel-level member currently earns about $ 1,877 per week, and that salary would have gradually increased over the next four years to a total of $ 376, or $ 9.40 per hour.
Union members who rejected the deal are asking for a $ 15 increase over three years and better parking pay, said Joe Sosa, a carpenter who voted against the latest contract proposal.