Saturday, September 14, 2013

Expensive delay for Seattle tunnel

Work on the tunnel in Seattle to replace the ugly Alaska Way Viaduct (elevated) is stopped. Big Bertha, the huge drilling machine, is idle; it hasn't moved one foot in over two weeks. Three? It is some union battle over dirt that is near water.

How much is it costing every day? Who is paying the bill?

I called my three legislators. I got two courteous promises to investigate and get back to me and one never-responded-to message. The courteous "get back to you" calls have never come, despite several days and follow-up calls from me.

I called Governor Inslee and was told "He is working with the key parties, buts I can't tell you anything." Q: How much is it costing per day? A: Ask Office of Financial Management (OFM).

OFM: How much does it cost? Ask Labor Relations.

Labor Relations: Why would anyone send you to us about costs? Call Dept of Transportation (DOT).

DOT: Call the Seattle project office. Seattle office: Voice mail.

So after several days, no one has any idea about how much it is costing us taxpayers.

Seattle Times about the source of the dispute.

… The ILWU signed a contract in April with tunneling firms that included the four waterfront jobs, but an arbitrator said in July the building-trades pact takes precedence.

Testimony at the NLRB resumes Tuesday. The record will be forwarded to Washington, D.C., where the five-member board would issue a ruling within weeks, said regional director Ronald Hooks.

The board will be urged to act promptly, because of the stoppage, he said.

Between 20 and 30 longshoremen a day have walked the picket line at T-46, said Cam Williams, president of ILWU Local 19 in Seattle.

Why didn't the unions accept the decision of the arbitrator?

Danny Westneat observes that Governor Inslee doesn't have the guts to tell a union to get out of the way. Westneat thinks the Longshoremen will compromise. Longshoremen compromise? Seattle Times

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