By COLIN STAUB
Shipyard workers in Portland and Puget Sound voted overwhelmingly to authorize a strike at facilities owned by Vigor Industrial, the Metal Trades Council of Portland & Vicinity said this week.
The vote tally was more than the 66% required by the Metal Trades Department constitution. The workers’ previous contract with Vigor expired in November, and they voted for a strike authorization in December as union and management were far apart on wage increases in contract negotiations.
After a number of bargaining sessions in January and February, the Metal Trades Department brought a tentative agreement to a vote in March but it was rejected by members. Union leadership wanted to re-assess members’ willingness to strike with the second authorization vote.
The Metal Trades Council is planning a community support rally at the Portland shipyard’s main gate at 9:30 a.m. April 9.