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Tribunal to examine ironworkers’ conditions Oct. 26 in Burien

One year after strike began, construction workers gather to speak out, allege widespread abuses in the Pacific Northwest Reinforcing Industry


BURIEN, Wash. (Oct. 26, 2017) — Non-union workers from several Seattle-area construction contractors including Bulwark Construction and Walker Rebar have been on strike since October 2016. Many more continue to walk off job sites to fight for better working conditions including drinking water on job sites, fair treatment, a stop to verbal abuse, unsafe working conditions, and an overall culture of intimidation and exploitation.

On the one-year anniversary of the first striker walking off the job, the Fair Work Center, Colectiva Legal del Pueblo, and the Seattle Workers for Justice Coalition are hosting a Workers’ Rights Tribunal where community, faith, and elected leaders will hear testimony from non-union workers on the horrendous working conditions experienced on publicly funded and private construction projects across the region. All are invited and encouraged to attend this event from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 26 at Lake Burien Presbyterian Church, 15003 14th Ave SW in Burien.

Tribunal members will include state Sen. Rebecca Saldaña (D-Seattle); the Rev. Dr. Elaine Beth Peresluha; Sandy Restrepo, Executive Director of Colectiva Legal del Pueblo; Ahmed Abdi, Fair Work Center and Commissioner, Seattle Housing Authority; Jimmy Matta, candidate for Burien City Council; Howard Greenwich, Puget Sound SAGE; and Keith Armstrong, Community and Economic Development, City of Tacoma.

The greater Seattle area is experiencing a construction and development boom. There are increasing concerns from immigrant and low-income communities about discrimination, intimidation and exploitation of the region’s most vulnerable workers. Local construction contractors are being accused of discriminatory labor practices, poor and unsafe working conditions on construction projects, and possible illegal employment practices toward the workers that build our communities, including discriminatory practices against immigrant workers in the industry.

The Workers’ Rights Tribunal is co-hosted by The Fair Worker Center, Colectiva Legal del Pueblo, and the Seattle Workers for Justice Coalition, and is drawn from a broad spectrum of community leaders who use their moral authority to intervene when workers’ rights and safety on the job are threatened. They share a set of values which include support for the right to freely organize, the right to living wage jobs, safe working conditions, a decent standard of living, employment security and freedom from discrimination.

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

FIND OUT HOW TO JOIN TOGETHER with your co-workers to negotiate for better wages, benefits, and a voice at work. Or go ahead and contact a union organizer today!