Council member Sawant demands that contractors pay parking fees for Seattle construction workers

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After members of the Northwest Carpenters Union approved a contract on Monday, Seattle City Council member Kshama Sawant is now pushing for an even greater expansion of paid parking for construction workers in the city.

Northwest Carpenters Union votes to approve new contract

As part of the agreement accepted with the Associated General Contractors of Washington, the existing parking area in Seattle from which expenses will be covered has been expanded. It now includes First Hill and a very first parking area to be established in Bellevue by June 2022.

Sawant wants this to go further, however. She this week unveiled legislation requiring Seattle contractors to pay construction worker parking fees and called on city council to pass it.

The councilor’s bill would require contractors to reimburse 100% of the parking costs of construction workers in the city. According to a press release from Sawant’s office, some workers currently have to pay $ 100 to $ 150 per week or more to park near downtown jobs, and many contractors do not provide free parking or limit reimbursement.

However, some members of the building trades union have won paid parking in their union contracts, which, according to a statement regarding the council member’s new legislation, shows that contractors “can indeed provide free parking”.

“Shameful, contractors in the construction industry, who have made billions in profit off the backs of workers, have refused to cover the parking costs of carpenters and many other construction workers,” Sawant said in a written press release.

She also noted that parking fees were one of the main reasons for the recent North West Carpenters Union strike, along with a demand for better wages and benefits.

Sawant has a petition demanding that city council pass fully paid parking for construction workers that she says has been signed by more than 1,000 people to date.

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