A carpenter strike in Washington state is expected to slow work on hundreds of construction projects across the region, including Microsoft office projects.
The Seattle Times reports that the state’s carpenters strike for higher wages is the first in nearly 20 years. With 56% to 44% votes over the weekend, the members of the Northwest Carpenters Union rejected a preliminary contract. Pickets were planned for Thursday.
However, most of the largest projects in the Seattle area, such as the Climate Pledge Arena and the construction of the Sound Transit light rail, have reached agreements that are preventing a strike.
In these locations, unionized carpenters will continue to work and pay part of their wages into a strike fund to aid those who have left. About 2,000 of the approximately 12,000 union members work in locations where they can strike, according to the union.
Carpenters say they are pushing for higher pay increases to keep up with the cost of living.
The Association of General Contractors of Washington, which represents carpenters’ employers, says it has offered workers a “strong package” of pay increases.
According to the union, a travel-level member currently earns about $ 1,877 a week, and that wage would have gradually increased by a total of $ 376, or $ 9.40 an hour, over the next four years.
Union members who turned down the deal are calling for a $ 15 increase over three years and a better parking fee, said Joe Sosa, a carpenter who voted against the latest contract proposal.