Members’ Strike Questions Answered
For the first time in 18 years, Washington carpenters are on strike. There’s a lot of questions around this event and in order to combat misinformation, we’re sharing them here:
What is the Council’s strike strategy?
The Council’s role is to put pressure on signatory contractors. We want them to come back to the table with a TA the majority of our members can support. We are focused on doing what’s best for all our members in the long run. We have an obligation to ensure that we push for a contract that members can support, while also ensuring that our members have jobs to return to.
How do you choose which sites, and how many, to picket each day?
Although some members may wish to strike at more locations, it is not actually in the best interests of working union members to execute the strike in that way. We want a strong show of force at each picket line, not a scattershot of a few members here and there. For example, we need video cameras set up at each picket location to protect picketers from false allegations. Your union, and even individual members, can be legally liable if unlawful conduct happens on the strike line.
Can we strike at PLA jobs?
PLAs are collective bargaining agreements negotiated by one or more labor unions and often negotiated between a building trades union and a public entity, developer, or contractor. PLAs are designed to increase local hires, improve productivity, protect the end user from work slowdowns and strikes, and have many other improved terms and conditions that are advantageous for labor unions, workers, community stakeholders, and owners. These improvements are a tradeoff for the no-strike provision in PLAs and impact all building trades affiliates signatory to these agreements. Many anti-union areas don’t have PLAs because PLAs protect workers.
Northwest Carpenters Union is signatory to many PLAs in the jurisdiction of the Western/Central Washington Area Master Agreement.
Any member working on a project covered by a PLA, sometimes referred to as a Community Workforce Agreement, MUST GO TO WORK as required by the agreement.
Why did the list of strikable AGC contractors change?
We have a responsibility to protect member resources. Due to contractual obligations, we are not allowed to strike or picket contractors who are not on the most current list of sites/contractors where work is to be withheld and/or picketed. For the most current information, visit www.buildnw.org/WA-info
Why is it important to have accurate picket pay paperwork?
When you participate in a picket line, unless you are volunteering, you are considered a temporary employee of the Northwest Carpenters Union, which means all state hiring guidelines must be followed. Failure of compliance by members may result in no payment and fines and penalties for the Council.
Keep up to date on the latest strike information HERE.