Northwest Union Carpenter members picket in front of the Marysville civic center construction site in Marysville Sept. 22, during a region-wide strike,. (Olivia Vanni / Herald file)

Northwest Union Carpenter members picket in front of the Marysville civic center construction site in Marysville Sept. 22, during a region-wide strike,. (Olivia Vanni / Herald file)

Carpenters union strikes a deal, and members are set to vote

Workers are back on the job with a tentative agreement that includes a 15.43% raise over three years.

EVERETT — After 13 days of picketing for higher wages, hundreds of Northwest Carpenters Union members headed back to work on job sites across the county Wednesday.

During the strike that straddled three weeks, Paul Galovin, representative for the Pacific Northwest Regional Council of Carpenters, said dozens of carpenters showed up to picket at project sites including Premera in Mountlake Terrace, Spruce Elementary in Lynnwood, the Marysville civic center and the Foushee project near the airport in Everett.

“Showing up early in the morning for picket lines and then doing that all day and walking 20,000 to 25,000 steps a day and screaming at the top of our lungs is not the physical toll that I’m used to putting on my body,” said Ryan Case, a carpenters union bargaining committee member, during a news conference. “It’s been a little unnerving. But, thank goodness, we were able to reach an agreement and we’re getting back to work because that’s what I do. I show up and I do what I’m told and I’m happy to do it.”

The strike began after union members voted down a fourth tentative proposal from the Associated General Contractors of Washington, which included a 20% raise over four years, the addition of Martin Luther King Jr. Day as a holiday, and increases in health and pension contributions.

Since the Recession, the conversation coming off the bargaining table continues to be “it’s hard to get you the wages you guys deserve,” Galovin said.

Bargaining committee members reached a new tentative agreement with the Associated General Contractors Tuesday.

The new deal includes a 15.43% raise over three years. That means union members will receive a raise of roughly $10 in wages and benefits in three years — rather than the roughly $9.80 that was proposed in the previous agreement, said union rep and bargaining committee member John Lehman.

Union carpenter apprentices start at around $28 an hour. Every six months they receive a raise as they take classes and advance up the ladder until they reach journeyman status. A journeyman makes over $45 an hour.

The new agreement also provides $1.50 an hour for those within the Bellevue or Seattle parking zones. The cost of parking was a concern shared across membership, Lehman said.

The fourth proposal was ultimately struck down because many union members were not prepared to agree to a four-year contract, Galovin said.

“A lot of our members just said that they weren’t comfortable with that fourth year,” said Evelyn Shapiro, NWCU executive secretary-treasurer. “They wanted to preserve the three year bargaining cycle that we were on.”

Nearly 12,000 union members will begin voting to ratify the contract Thursday evening. Voting will close Oct. 11 at 6 p.m. and results will follow.

A simple majority is needed to ratify.

Lehman said he would be surprised if membership did not vote to ratify.

“This fight for wages is a working class fight,” Galovin said. “Since the ’70s, the ultra-rich have been getting richer and richer. … Fighting to keep a middle class and to elevate the lower class in order to be able to get into the middle class is kind of the mission.”

Isabella Breda: 425-339-3192; isabella.breda@heraldnet.com. Twitter: @BredaIsabella.

Talk to us

More in Herald Business Journal

FILE - In this file photo dated Monday, March 11, 2019, rescuers work at the scene of an Ethiopian Airlines plane crash south of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.  The number of deaths in major air crashes around the globe fell by more than half in 2019 according to a report released Wednesday Jan. 1, 2020, by the aviation consultancy To70, revealing the worst crash for the year was an Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 737 MAX on March 10 that lost 157 lives. (AP Photo/Mulugeta Ayene, FILE)
Former Boeing test pilot pleads not guilty in 737 Max case

He’s the first person to be charged with a crime in connection with the Indonesia and Ethiopia crashes.

Top (L-R): Kim Daughtry, Steve Ewing. Bottom (L-R): Gary Petershagen, Marcus Tageant.
Developers court Lake Stevens council incumbents with over $20K

Over half of the campaign dollars for four candidates came from people tied to real estate or property development.

Traffic drives in view of a massive Boeing Co. production plant, where images of jets decorate the hangar doors, Friday, April 23, 2021, in Everett, Wash. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
Boeing says workers must get the COVID vaccine by Dec. 8

“Compliance with these requirements is a condition of employment,” says an internal company presentation.

FILE - In this March 14, 2019 file photo, Ethiopian relatives of crash victims mourn at the scene where the Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 737 Max 8 crashed shortly after takeoff killing all 157 on board, near Bishoftu, south-east of Addis Ababa, in Ethiopia. Relatives of some of the passengers who died in the crash will mark the two-year anniversary of the disaster on Wednesday, March 10, 2021, by seeking a reversal of government orders that let Boeing 737 Max jets fly again.  (AP Photo/Mulugeta Ayene, File)
Boeing pilot involved in Max testing is indicted in Texas

He’s accused of giving the FAA false information about systems that played a role in two deadly crashes.

A handful of Northwest Union Carpenter members picket in front of the new Marysville civic center construction site on the sixth day of a region wide union carpenter strike on Wednesday, Sept. 22, 2021 in Marysville, Wa. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Carpenters strike ends with new contract and a $10 raise

Roughly 500 union members were working on projects in Snohomish County. It was among the largest strikes in 18 years.

The Boeing 737 Max 10 airplane landing at Boeing Field in Seattle on June 18. (Chona Kasinger / Bloomberg)
Boeing ramps up 737 Max but 787 deliveries are still blocked

Boeing last month maintained its steady trickle of sales as it navigates the aviation downturn.

FILE - In this March 20, 2020, file photo, the Amazon campus outside the company headquarters in Seattle sits nearly deserted on an otherwise sunny and warm afternoon. Amazon said Monday, Oct. 11, 2021 it will allow many tech and corporate workers to continue working remotely indefinitely, as long as they can commute to the office when necessary. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson, File)
Amazon to allow employees to work remotely indefinitely

Although most cannot work remotely because their duties include grabbing orders and delivering them.

With new owners demanding the Grand Apartments' longtime residents leave, Stephen Teixeira, 52, documents issues at the Rockefeller Avenue building, on Thursday, Oct. 7, 2021 in Everett, Washington.  (Andy Bronson / The Herald)
Life at the Grand Apartments in Everett is now a ‘nightmare’

Longtime residents say the new owner, an investment company, is trying to bully them out of the building.

Bob Martin, 80, owner of the The Stag Barber and Styling in Snohomish. (Andrea Brown / The Herald)
$90,000 fine doesn’t stop defiant Snohomish barber

Bob Martin appealed a state penalty for ignoring coronavirus rules and lost. It has not cut into his business.

A handful of Northwest Union Carpenter members picket in front of the new Marysville civic center construction site on the sixth day of a region wide union carpenter strike on Wednesday, Sept. 22, 2021 in Marysville, Wa. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Carpenters union strikes a deal, and members are set to vote

Workers are back on the job with a tentative agreement that includes a 15.43% raise over three years.

Ryan Welch, a produce clerk, restocks grapes at the Sno-Isle Food Co-op on Friday, Sept. 17, 2021 in Everett, Wa. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Everett’s Sno-Isle Food Co-op approaches its 25th anniversary

The enterprise hopes to add more square footage and more classroom space to the store on Grand Avenue.

Jeff Wagner and son Casey Wagner at their store, Wagner Jewelers, on Friday, Sept. 24, 2021 in Marysville, Wa. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
After 41 years, Wagner Jewelers in Marysville still shines

When the Wagner brothers opened it in 1981, they were the only game in a pretty small town.