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Strike ends, but WPAS owners fire 10 strikers; union files ULPs

The following is from Office and Professional Employees (OPEIU) Local 8:

The Welfare & Pension Bargaining Team celebrated the Tentative Agreement before management’s firings of 10 strikers.

MERCER ISLAND, Wash. (Sept. 28, 2017) — OPEIU Local 8 has reached a Tentative Agreement with Welfare and Pension Administration Services, Inc. (WPAS) that was ratified by the strikers this past Monday. Workers won their fight by keeping seniority rights, sick leave benefits, a cap on healthcare costs, and by rejecting many other takeaways the WPAS owners kept demanding. WPAS members voted overwhelmingly to accept the Tentative Agreement and return to work the next day. The strike finally ended after nearly 5 weeks on the picket line.

Not satisfied with the contract, WPAS owners abruptly fired 10 of the strikers before they could return to work. Within hours after contract ratification, 10 workers — all of them women, were handed boxes with their personal belongings and told to leave the premises when they showed up to work. Most had worked at WPAS for more than 15 years and one employee has been there for 30 years.

“WPAS owners make their money from administrating Union Health and Pension Trusts. Shame on them” said Suzanne Mode, Business Manager of OPEIU 8. “We are continuing to fight this reprehensible anti-union behavior by filing an unfair labor practice charge and grievances. It’s sad that WPAS owners can’t move past the strike and begin the healing process.”

In the meantime, the “WPAS 10” are out of a job and more than 70 strikers sacrificed their wages and benefits for more than a month. Please help WPAS brothers and sisters by donating to their “Go Fund Me” hardship account.

Previously at The Stand:

Welfare & Pension strike continues, nearing one month (Sept. 21, 2017) — More than 70 employees of Welfare and Pension Administration Services, Inc. (WPAS) have been on strike for four weeks because the owners of the company, which administers health care and pension benefits for union members throughout the Pacific Northwest, are demanding health care and pension cuts from its own employees. Owners are also demanding to end seniority rights and union dues deduction.

CHECK OUT THE UNION DIFFERENCE in Washington: higher wages, affordable health and dental care, job and retirement security.

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