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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

September 11, 2013 at 7:02 PM

Labor dispute halts tunnel work in Seattle

A picket line that needs to be crossed

Members of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union Local 19 picket the site of the State Route 99 tunnel project site on the Seattle waterfront in August. [Erika Schultz, The Seattle Times.]

Members of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union Local 19 picket the site of the State Route 99 tunnel project site on the Seattle waterfront in August. [Erika Schultz, The Seattle Times.]

I do not understand the longshoremen’s union’s position on the removal of dirt from the tunnel project. [“Tunnel work grinds to a halt over union dispute,” page one, Sept. 7.]

They apparently agreed to arbitration but dislike the July ruling. They were offered a reasonable split of the jobs in question a month ago by the project team, but said no.

Meanwhile, the work has been stopped for at least two weeks, presumably at great taxpayer cost. This kind of intransigence is one of the reasons the public view of unions is often low and leads to successful union-busting.

Has the International Longshore and Warehouse Union not noticed the flow of manufacturing jobs to states where unions are weak or nonexistent? Has it no regard for the greater public good?

I am a firm believer in the need for worker protections provided by unions, but this turf defense at any cost is becoming ridiculous. This is a picket line that needs to be crossed.

Leonard de Vries, Seattle

0 Comments | More in Labor, Politics, Seattle | Topics: Bertha, ILWU, labor

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