SEATTLE - Seattle-area carpenters have approved a new contract with their employers following a nearly three-week strike that slowed construction work across the region and exposed internal divisions among the union’s 12,000 members.
The Northwest Carpenters Union said Monday evening its members voted about 54% to 46% in favor of the deal, the Seattle Times reported.
Union members in Western Washington went on strike Sept. 16, then went back to work last week after the union reached the tentative deal with the Association of General Contractors of Washington.
The latest contract deal was the fifth tentative agreement brought for a vote. Members rejected the previous deal and authorized the strike in September.
Those who voted "no" called for higher wage increases. Carpenter wages range from $46.92 to $48.42 an hour. The latest deal will mean a $2.26 wage increase each year.
Overall, the strike yielded modest changes to the previous deal members had rejected. The last proposal included a total pay and benefits increase of $13.25 over four years. The new offer included $10.02 over three years. Both worked out to roughly $3.30 a year in pay and benefits.
The AGC, which represents the carpenters’ employers, said it was disappointed when the strike began after it had offered a "strong package."
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