(TUKWILA, Wash.)—At meetings held throughout Joint Council 28, hundreds of Teamsters working in the construction industry voted to ratify a new 3-year agreement. The agreement covers all Western Washington construction industry Teamsters working under the Associated General Contractors (AGC) construction agreement, and all associated white paper agreements that are signatory to the AGC. Union negotiators will now work on the remaining white paper agreements that are not signatory to the AGC.
The agreement includes record-setting wage increases, full maintenance of benefits for the duration of the contract on an improved health care plan, and increases in pension rates to a total of $9.44 per hour on all hours compensated. The new contract also gives the members stronger date of hire language that will recognize their years of service with an employer, addressing a major issue identified prior to negotiations.
“We are proud to have negotiated language to protect our members from retaliation for filing a grievance, and that will reduce the impact of favoritism by management in the industry,” said Teamsters Local 174 Senior Business Agent Carl Gasca, who served on the bargaining committee. “Under the new contract, the employer must recall laid-off Teamsters in order of layoff prior to using anyone with a lesser date of hire or using rental trucks. That is going to really make a difference for our members in the construction industry.”
“These negotiations were certainly challenging, but the resulting contract is a tremendous victory for our members in the construction industry,” said Rick Hicks, Teamsters Local 174 Secretary-Treasurer and Joint Council 28 President. “After last summer’s victory in the sand and gravel contract fight, the bar was set high and our members expected a lot from us. Those expectations rose even higher after the strike by Operators Local 302 this summer. I am proud to say that our committee, led by Joint Council 28 Construction Director Darren O’Neil, delivered on those expectations—not just with a great compensation package and meaningful health care improvements, but even more importantly, with language improvements that are going to make a major difference in our members’ day-to-day lives on the job.”
The AGC covers construction Teamsters from Locals 38, 174, 231, 252, 313 and 589.