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Inslee weighs in on labor dispute holding up Hwy. 99 tunnel project

September 23, 2013 J

Gov. Jay Inslee spent an hour in Bellevue talking with management and union officials Monday in an effort to resolve the labor dispute that’s caused a nearly four-week delay in the Highway 99 tunnel project.

The International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) is picketing at Terminal 46 on the Seattle waterfront, where excavated muck is supposed to be loaded onto barges and shipped to a quarry near Port Townsend. The Seattle Tunnel Partners group intends to use building-trades members instead of longshoremen to work a conveyor belt, drive a front-end loader and position the barge at the terminal.

The conveyor belt now isn’t moving and tunnel-boring machine Bertha isn’t drilling. The back half of the machine has yet to escape the launch pit in Sodo.

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