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Longshore union blocks entrance to SR 99 tunnel work

SEATTLE — Workers from the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (LWU) Local 19 blocked the construction entrance to the State Route 99 tunnel Tuesday morning, saying four jobs promised to the LWU by the Seattle Tunnel Partners (STP), a contractor hired to build the tunnel, never came through.

Dozens of union members blocked the construction entrance to the tunnel near Pier 46. Some workers on the SR 99 tunnel were able to get through, LWU Local 19 President Cameron Williams said, but four workers with jobs allegedly promised to longshore workers would not be allowed access.

StopWilliams said the protest was spurred after STP, the contractor which won the Seattle tunnel dig bid, did not hold up an alleged contract guaranteeing four jobs to LWU local workers. He said those job promises were never fulfilled, and went to STP contract workers instead.

“They’ve chosen not to implement their contract,” Williams said.

STP was not immediately available for comment.

Williams said the issue was largely a “jurisdiction piece.” Any work that involved the port such as some dirt excavation work, traditionally goes to longshore workers, Williams said. However, STP did not grant the jobs promised to LWU, Williams said.

Traffic has not yet been affected in nearby areas. Police are on scene monitoring the protest.

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9 comments

  • John Fuller

    This is absolutely ridiculous! Those greedy overpaid workers should be FIRED and replaced with workers that are not in a lazy union.

    • Eric

      Please tell me how fighting for jobs you were promised is being lazy? Over paid? There not overpaid why don’t you fight for better pay at your own place of work instead of try and take others pay away you don’t know the history of the I.L.W.U there was bloodshed to get where we are today so keep your opinion to yourself!

      • Bryan

        All the other articles I've read point to the fact that the contract was signed under duress. Something about the long shoremen not willing to unload the boring machine until they were promised these jobs. It is hard to watch these great unions that helped build our country, slowly destroying it.

        • Jerry Gatine

          The only ones saying that the contract was signed under duress is the Contractor. Guess he figures he can save a little money by having someone else do the job. The media is making the ILWU out to be over paid, lazy and Thugs.
          Let me ask you this. When you went to work this year did you know anyone that was killed on your job? The whole reason we get paid what we do is because it is a VERY dangerous job. This year alone just on the West Coast 11 ILWU longshoreman have died going to their over paid and lazy jobs.
          If this were the business world and I have a signed contract and you say that you signed it under duress and don't want to honor it. It goes to court and the judge awards a settlement to get out of your contract. You have to prove duress.

  • Robert

    Overpaid??? This is one of the last great unions left in North America. You talk of getting rid of lazy unions so it can be done better or cheaper? Lets look at history and then tell me where a lot of jobs have gone in favor of cheap labor and cost cutting?
    Lets look at why you think we union men and women are overpaid, last year I lost a friend to a work place accident and a co worker a few years ago who fell from a crane while inspecting gear will never work again and has no short term memory will never recover. Should they have been working for less with the dangers they and we face?
    When you retire will you get a pension or do you have any medical benefits thru work?, if you do thank a union!
    As for pay rates…. It’s not that we are paid too much. You are underpaid! Your boss and company owner lives comfortably I’m willing to bet and do you think he could afford to pay you more? Sure but that cuts into his kids private school fund and the expenses for his vacation home renos.
    Before you attack the unions look at the fat cats trying to nickel and dime your pay.

  • Scott

    It disgusts me to hear people union bashing! Remember its those same union people that fought to bring you weekends, safe work conditions, child labor laws, minimum wage, overtime, workers compensation insurance, pension security, the right to organize, ect.
    Next time you go and shoot your mouth off about unions, think about the alternative, and maybe realize that the selfless actions of these proud men and woman who have fought for all of us have made your country as well as mine a better place to live!
    Hold strong!