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Crane operators strike ends after 17 days

Crane operators and other members of the International Union of Operating Engineers Local 302 will vote on a tentative agreement. (AP photo)

A 17-day strike that delayed major construction projects around Western Washington has ended.

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The International Union of Operating Engineers Local 302 – which represents the striking crane operators, road pavers, mechanics and other workers – says a tentative contract has been reached.

“All Local 302 members are going to be directed to report to work tomorrow,” the contractors’ group said in an email to The Seattle Times late Thursday. A statement on the union’s web site says workers are being told to stop the pickets and to return to job sites Friday morning.

Union members will now vote on the tentative agreement. The Times says the deal includes a pay and benefits increase of 17.8 percent over three years. The original offer in July was for 13.1 percent. Union members rejected 15 percent in August. According to the Times, workers will see a $3.22 an hour increase to health and pension benefits over the life of the contract. Additionally, Seattle workers will earn $1.25 in extra hourly pay.

The deal covers all of Western Washington, the Times reports. Workers who are in areas where the cost of living is lower will receive a 16 percent increase.

The strike, which began Aug. 21, brought a halt to construction at apartment high-rises, road improvement projects, school upgrades, and others around the Seattle metro area.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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