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News / Business / Business Briefs

Pendleton mill workers hold informational picket

The Columbian
Published: October 29, 2019, 8:10pm

Workers at the Pendleton Woolen Mill in Washougal planned to stage an informational picket Tuesday in the midst of negotiations over a new contract.

The roughly 160 workers at the Washougal mill and 40 workers at the Pendleton, Ore., facility are members of the Service Employees International Union Local 49, according to local chapter executive director Maggie Long.

Workers began bargaining with the company ahead of an Oct. 15 expiration date for the current contract. Talks are currently at an impasse, Long said, and a federal mediator will attend the next bargaining session today to try to reach a compromise.

Long said there are two main sticking points in the talks: wages and 401(k) contributions. Workers are seeking greater cost-of-living increases to their wages and an additional fixed 401(k) contribution for some of the mill’s longest-serving workers — the ones who have been there for 20 or more years. About 20 to 25 employees would fall into that category, Long said.

Long described the pickets as informational. The workers have authorized their bargaining team to call for a strike if necessary, she said, but currently no strike has been called.

“What we hope is that when we return to mediation (today), we can get a fair contract,” she said.

The Washougal plant workers planned to hold two pickets Tuesday, she said — one in the earlier afternoon before the swing shift workers start their shift, and another in the late afternoon when the day shift workers head home for the night.

Building association names Parade of Homes winners

On Monday, the Building Industry Association of Clark County announced the winners of the Industry Awards and People’s Choice Awards for the 2019 NW Natural Parade of Homes.

The 13-day home show displayed six houses at the Dawson’s Ridge development in Camas in September. The show drew nearly 17,000 visitors, according to the association, many of whom voted in the People’s Choice competition.

Two houses ended up taking home all of the awards. The Hamlin from Affinity Homes was awarded Best Kitchen, Master Suite, Interior Decorating, Architecture and Floor Plan in the People’s Choice competition. The Aurora from Cascade West Development took home awards for Entertainment Room, Landscaping, Outdoor Living Area and Best of Show in the People’s Choice competition — and it won every award in the Industry Awards competition.