Construction workers are demanding that employers pay them at least $3,000 per hour and provide them with health insurance.
The International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers Local 817 in Seattle is staging a protest Friday in front of a construction site, where workers are set to deliver a petition demanding an annual salary of $12,000 to the city’s transportation commissioner.
“We are tired of being exploited,” said union member Alex Miller.
Workers at the construction site are demanding a $3.50 per hour wage, an annual health insurance payout and at least four hours of sick leave a week.
They are also demanding the creation of an industry-wide union.
The union said the current union structure was not conducive to workplace peace and safety.
The IAMAA Local 816 is asking the city to establish an “Industry Union” to represent construction workers.
Union members said they are worried about the health costs of being exposed to chemicals and fumes.
City spokeswoman Amy Purdy said the union is not required to sign a contract but is allowed to speak at public meetings.
On Monday, the Seattle City Council passed a resolution asking the mayor to form a working group on unionization.
The city is also considering requiring employers to pay union dues.
Miller said he was working on the petition when a coworker said he needed to sign it.
In January, a similar petition to increase pay for construction workers was rejected by the state.
The measure, introduced by Sen. Tom Bakk, D-Seattle, would have raised the city minimum wage to $15 per hour by 2020.