Originally published on Thu December 27, 2012 5:27 pm
Northwest wheat growers are hoping for a swift resolution to a labor dispute that could keep their grain from reaching the world market. Grain terminals remain open in Portland, Vancouver and Seattle, even though the terminals' owners have implemented a contract offer unionized longshoremen rejected.
Most of the wheat that grows on the rolling hills of eastern Washington is bound for the international market. But to get there, the wheat passes through one of a handful of grain terminals in the Northwest.
Members of the Seattle Symphony and Opera Players' Organization (SSOPO) voted October 15 to authorize a strike. In a statement on its website, SSOPO representatives say the latest contract offers from both organizations call for 15 percent reductions in pay and benefits for the 2012-2013 season. That's on top of concessions the musicians have already made. The union says its membership can't take further cuts.
Negotiators for the Boeing Company and its engineering and technical union are back at the negotiating table today. That’s after union members soundly rejected the company’s latest contract offer.
More than 21,000 members of SPEEA, the Society For Professional Engineering Employees in Aerospace, voted by mail on the company’s contract proposal. When the votes were counted last night, 96 percent of engineers and 97 percent of technical workers had voted ‘no.’