Strikes and Negotiations among American Workers – M.Sivalingam

Strikes and Negotiations  among American Workers – M.Sivalingam

Todays in Seattle Times daily newspaper was able to find three similar messages. They are related to wage contract negotiations between employee welfare associations and management as well as strikes.
• West Washington construction workers in the US are striking as the negotiations over the wage hike failed. The strike continues for the second week. The International Union of Operating Engineers is leading this. This union includes crane operators, surveyors, roadside pavement organizers, mechanics, and other construction workers. Last June, a three-year wage agreement ended. After union members voting against new wage agreement negotiation with construction contractors association, strike began last week. Other unions too entered into strike. Construction and road works have been crippled in Seattle, Redmond, Bellevue, and Snowkammish. Workers now demand raise of 15.9% in hourly wages of 37.70 dollars and 13% in welfare measures like health care and pensions. The management is ready to give 6% increase ie $ 43.13. Striking workers will receive up to 400 dollars per week as amount of striking aid.

It is worth mentioning that in 2003, the Regional Carpentry Workers Association 9 days, in 2016 window fixing workers union 3 weeks, and in 2017, the Drivers Association 1 week into the strike and achieved the demands.

• Here the government school teachers and workers’ salaries are determined at the level of district of education. Seattle District of Education Teachers and Workers Association is conducting negotiations with management on wage increases, medical benefits, and ethnic equality in classrooms. There are 6000 members in this union. The union has decided to strike on September 5 if the negotiations is unable to fulfill their demands. The strike decision is carried out by a voting among the members of the association. School teachers in Seattle district now earn $ 50,600 from $ 1,00,800 a year. In the nearby Bellevue district, 53,000 to 1,11,100, 55,990 to 1,13,000 in Lake Washington, and 62,000 to 1,20,200 in Charlotte District. Similarly, the Seattle District Association also expects min 10% wage hike. It is worth mentioning that the Seattle district teachers went into strike for five days in 2015 and got wage increases.

• The police have a union here. Seattle Police Officers Guild has over 1,300 Police and Police Officers. The new deal is not agreed upon since the end of old wage agreement in 2014. Three and a half years later, the association has negotiated with the govt administration of Seattle and signed a new contract. The Executive Committee of the Association has sent wage contract for the voting approval of the members. Contract components are not published in the press. The contract is likely to have, including the wage increases, the additional power to authorities in transfer and promotion, the greater contribution to the public in the case investigations, and the regulation of the disciplinary action appeal process. It is expected that wage increase will effective from 2015. The association seems to have decided to withdraw their objection against the camera attached to the body during the work time. It is worth to be mentioned that Police Management Association of the higher police officials entered into agreement for its long pending demands last year