SEATTLE — The Northwest Carpenters Union (NWCU), which represents more than 28,000 construction workers and craftspeople across the region, has approved a new agreement with the Associated General Contractors (AGC) of Washington.
More than 5,000 members cast their vote, according to the union. Approximately 53% of members voted to approve the new agreement, while about 46% voted no.
The agreement preserves the contract period of three years, gives a roughly 15.4% increase in wages and expands parking benefits in the downtown Seattle and Bellevue cores, among other things.
"Union carpenters have voted to approve a new contract with the AGC of Washington. Our members fought hard for these important improvements in the contract, putting their livelihoods and their bodies on the picket line for 13 days of striking at dozens of job sites across Western Washington," said Executive Secretary-Treasurer Evelyn Shapiro in a statement, Monday.
"When we stand together, whether it’s striking or voting on a contract, our union is stronger. I want to recognize the hard work of our bargaining committee members, and every rank and file carpenter who stood on picket lines or supported the strike with pay assessments. Union carpenters build everything you see, and we work hard to earn living wages to support our families, and benefits that will be there for us when our backs and our knees give out," Shapiro continued.
The latest agreement was the fifth option being negotiated on between the carpenter's union and the AGC. The union had voted to go on strike in mid-September after members voted 56% to 44% to reject the fourth offer from AGC to increase wages and benefits.