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Striking carpenters union in Seattle reaches new agreement

UPDATED: Wed., Oct. 6, 2021

Associated Press

SEATTLE — The Northwest Carpenters Union says it has reached a new contract agreement with the Associated General Contractors that will put several thousand striking carpenters in the Seattle area back on the job Wednesday pending a vote on the deal.

Union members have been on strike since Sept. 16, with rotating pickets at some major projects.

The Seattle Times reports leading up to the strike, union members rejected four previous contract proposals put forward by union leadership.

Carpenters who voted no on previous deals said the agreements did not do enough to boost pay and benefits as the cost of living in the Seattle area skyrockets.

Current carpenter wages range from $46.92 to $48.42 an hour. The last rejected offer would have increased pay by about $9.40 per hour over the course of four years, along with increases in benefits.

In a statement on its website Tuesday, the union said the new deal includes a $10.02 “total package” increase over three years, retroactive pay dating back to June 1 and a 50-cent increase in the parking reimbursement in some areas of Seattle.

The deal allows members to return to work for now, until the contract is voted on.

Although a majority of union members voted to authorize the strike last month, many of the union’s 12,000 members have not walked off the job because they work at job sites governed by no-strike agreements. Those include high-profile sites, such as Sound Transit light-rail lines.

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