Labor dispute

Ashley Gross / KPLU

People in Seattle are familiar with the H-1B visa program that brings high-tech employees from abroad, but another, more obscure foreign worker program has churned up a lot of controversy in the state recently.

Brett Davis / Washington Farm Bureau

Bellamy Pailthorp / KPLU

Editor's note: The story has been updated to clarify that the berry pickers formed a workers' association. They did not form a union by holding an election under the National Labor Relations Act.

Berry pickers who went on strike at Sakuma Brothers Farms in Skagit County several times last year have filed a suit against the company, alleging retaliation. The workers say Sakuma has blacklisted many of them from working this summer as payback for their walkouts.

SEIU Healthcare 1199NW

More than 150 case managers, therapists and other employees of Behavioral Health Resources have walked off the job for a three-day strike. The agency provides mental-health and substance-abuse services in Thurston, Mason and Grays Harbor counties, mostly to Medicaid recipients.

The agency is in deep financial straits and had to take out a line of credit to make payroll in December.

Ashley Gross / KPLU

Seattle's waterfront tunnel project is huge. At its height, it's supposed to create almost 3,900 jobs. In a move that shows how important each one of those jobs is, longshoremen headed out to a picket line to protect four of them. 

And that labor dispute over those four jobs has caused some work on the project to grind to a halt. 

There are several new developments Wednesday in a long-running labor dispute between unionized longshoremen and Northwest grain terminal operators. One grain exporter announced it reached a contract agreement, while another locked out its union workers after discovering what it called sabotage.

Picket lines sprung up almost immediately in front of the United Grain terminal at the Port of Vancouver, Washington. This, after the terminal operator notified the International Longshore and Warehouse Union Local 4 of a lock out.

Boeing’s refusing to make any improvements in the contract it has offered technical workers. The union says it will now put that same offer out for another vote, a move that an analyst characterizes as giving up.

Chethan Shankar

A labor dispute is heating up between workers at the Space Needle and the private owners of Seattle’s most famous landmark.

Apple has been taking a lot of heat lately for working conditions at plants making its products in China.

Associated Press

LONGVIEW, Wash. — A federal judge is ordering union protesters to halt illegal activity as they battle for the right to work at a new grain terminal in Washington state. The judge issued a preliminary injunction to restrict union activity, saying today there is no defense for recent aggressive tactics.

Associated Press

LONGVIEW, Wash. — Hundreds of union protesters blocking a grain shipment in southwest Washington state rushed police officers who tried to make arrests and forced them to retreat.