Carpenters union, AGC come to agreement

Heidi Schiller
   The Pacific Northwest Regional Council of Carpenters (PNWRCC) and the Associated General Contractors of Washington (AGC) recently settled a labor agreement affecting between 200 and 300 carpenters in Whatcom County.
    The negotiations gave the carpenters an increase of $7.20 per hour in wages, benefits and pensions to their current $30-per-hour earnings, according to Eric Franklin, communications director for PNWRCC.
   The negotiations concluded on May 22 with a majority yes vote by the carpenters after several months of preparations on both sides of the table, including union rallies in Portland and Tacoma that drew 14,000 carpenters and their families. Their last raise occurred a year ago, Franklin said.
   The agreement affects more than 5,000 carpenters and 497 contractors in Western Washington.
   The union sought the raise in order to help its members stay on pace with inflation and the rising costs of gasoline and other goods.
   “Our communities deserve this partnership between the contractors and the carpenters, who are literally building the future of the Pacific Northwest,” said Doug Tweedy, executive secretary-treasurer of the Northwest Carpenters. 
    The contractors represented by AGC were pleased with both the negotiation process and its outcome, according to a press release.
    “We are committed to supporting and encouraging a strong and growing economy both for the region and for Northwest families,” said Wilf Wainhouse, lead negotiator for AGC. “These negotiations should serve as an example of how labor and management can work together to keep the construction industry thriving, and as a message to our collective clients that they chose the right teams to build their future.”
    AGC also has reached full agreements with the Laborers and Cement Masons, and a tentative agreement with the Operating Engineers Local 612.  For up-to-date information on these negotiations, visit



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