OPEIU Local 8 strike at Welfare & Pension Inc. continues

Members of Office and Professional Employees International Union (OPEIU) Local 8 who work at Welfare & Pension Administration Service, Inc. (WPAS) in Mercer Island, Washington, are still on strike.

After 11 months of negotiations and seven months without a contract, 95 workers who administer health and pension benefits for thousands of Pacific Northwest union members walked off the job Aug. 23.

Employees there have had a union contract since 1973 and last struck in 1988. Workers are fighting to maintain seniority rights, cap the medical premium cost share, and reestablish their retirement after losing their pension benefit last year.

WPAS is a private for-profit corporation. The company has continued to administer union benefits with a skeleton staff that includes temporary scab workers.

Picketing is held from 6 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday at the WPAS office at 7525 SE 24th St. in Mercer Island.

Washington State Labor Council is calling on supporters to call WPAS owners and tell them to settle a fair contract now: 1-800-732-1121.

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