Strike?

NW carpenters

NW carpenters

Haven’t seen much about this, but could it be that a labor-union settlement in one part of the Northwest might prompt a massive strike in other parts of the region?

Carpenters unions around the Northwest have been pushing in recent months for pay increases. In western Washington (mainly the Puget Sound area) this week, they reached a deal with the Wall and Ceiling Contractors Association involving an increase of about $7.20 an hour at the journeyman level.

No such deal yet, though, for Oregon or others in Washington. An e-mail from the carpenters notes that “The last and final offer from the Wall and Ceiling Contractors Association was only about 70% of the increase that the Association agreed to in Seattle.” A spokesman was quoted: “In Western Washington, the same worker will be receiving a 30% larger raise than he or she would in Oregon or in Southwest Washington. [He said] In Oregon alone, construction accounts for at least $9.9 Billion to the economy annually. It’s not just 1,300 families negotiating here; if they fail, Oregon and Southwest Washington lose economically when the contractors disrupt the operations of their own jobsites.”

So, the mail said: “With only hours before the contracts expire at midnight on May 31st, members of the Pacific Northwest Regional Council of Carpenters (PNWRCC) in Washington and Oregon may be forced to walk off dozens of active construction sites; the strike is imminent since the contractors continually failed to offer an acceptable increase to workers’ wages and benefits. Already, 97.5% of the affected carpenters have voted in favor of striking as a last resort.”

Pickets tomorrow, all over the region?

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