FIRST ON KIRO 7: Union workers picketing Seattle Tunnel dig

by: KIRO 7 STAFF Updated:


Longshoremen are picketing at the site of the Seattle tunnel dig and preventing some workers from getting to the Bertha drilling site.

The union workers started their protest around 6 a.m. at a construction site entrance off King Street. The dispute is about jurisdiction of certain jobs. The longshoremen claim the tunnel project contractor, Seattle Tunnel Partners, is violating a contract to hire four members of the Longshoremen's Union (ILWU) for port work loading barges with the dirt that comes out of the tunnel.

Those four jobs have been filled by construction workers belonging to other unions.

About 30 workers were at the Tuesday morning protest. Some workers have had to park off-site to get to work.

KIRO 7's Jeff Dubois saw two container trucks that were supposed to load dirt on the site on to rail car, turned around. But the majority of the tunnel-digging work continues as normal.

The longshoremen say they will stay in place all day Tuesday.

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