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September 12, 2013 at 7:06 PM
Cut out unionsThose in charge of the tunnel project should simply hire nonunion workers to deal with the removal of the excavated material from the boring project. [“Bertha stuck, needs help to get out of this muck,” NW Wednesday, Sept. 11.]
Since neither union group is willing to make a compromise, the simple solution would be to cut them both out of the work. To allow this project to sit idle at the taxpayers’ expense is another example of poor leadership on the part of the Washington State Department of Transportation.
Is it any wonder why people are tired of union tactics?
It is time to deal with the “muck,” and eliminate both unions from any of the jobs on this project.
Ron Hopper, Carnation
September 11, 2013 at 7:02 PM
A picket line that needs to be crossed
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
September 10, 2013 at 11:34 AM
Waste of time and money
Do you really think the taxpaying public really cares who moves the dirt? [“Tunnel work grinds to a halt over union dispute,” page one, Sept. 7.]
Holding up a project of this magnitude and cost for eight jobs is absolutely ludicrous. In the meantime, there are 250 construction workers twiddling their thumbs, waiting for someone to get off the dime.
Come on, project manager — get Bertha moving! Go with those you hired to do the work, and let the other group pout and picket.
John Moe, Federal Way
July 12, 2013 at 11:39 AM
Department of Transportation’s publicity campaign is insulting
After receiving numerous updates on Bertha, the Washington Department of Transportation’s tunnel-digging machine, and reading an invitation to “Bertha’s bon-voyage ceremony,” I have to respond.
The tunneling machine is a thing, not a female. Perhaps you’re taking “boring” too literally, such that you have to anthropomorphize this digger and treat Seattle residents like a bunch of kids at a carnival, but really, you’ve gone too far.
Digging machines are intrinsically fascinating, and the project is quite a feat; do you really have to pour sugar all over this to make it palatable?
Whose idea was this ridiculous publicity ploy? As one of the taxpayers making this project possible, I also resent the department implying that it’s doing us a big favor — “sharing a tradition” — to give us a glimpse of the machine we are paying for.
If you want to talk about tradition, this city has a long, proud tradition of carrying out massive labor- and material-intensive projects without relying on cute names or photo ops, or needing a pat on the back every time it reaches a milestone.
Judy Moise, Seattle
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