After nearly three weeks of strikes that paused progress on prominent construction projects across the Puget Sound, the Northwest Carpenters Union announced today that they have reached a tentative agreement with the Associated General Contractors of Washington, allowing work to resume.
“As you can hear around us, you’ll hear the clanking and banging and that’s what we like to hear,” said NW Carpenters Union spokesperson Evelyn Shapiro in Downtown Seattle on Wednesday. “We like to hear the noise on the streets because that means we are building.”
Shapiro said hundreds of carpenters union members participated in the strike despite a divided membership over the initially struck-down agreements offered by the AGC.
Union Vice President and bargaining committee member, Ryan Case, said the tentative agreement is a three-year contract that he believes keeps the carpenters union in-line with the other trade unions with a 15.4 percent wage increase and retroactive wages back to the beginning of June.
He said there will also be expanded parking in Seattle and Bellevue, with parking space and fees being a contested issue among union members.
“I want my son to know that standing up for what is right and standing up for yourself and your union brothers and sisters can be tough, but it is worth it.” Case said.
Case said he is confident union members will collectively vote to approve this new agreement.
Shapiro said despite the compromising nature of contract negotiations, the union did not really have to “give anything up” during the negotiations.