Tacoma-based International Union of Operating Engineers Local 612 and Local 302, and the PNW Regional Council of Carpenters will rejoin Washington State Building Trades Council on Aug. 1.

The connection will bring nearly 24,000 union carpenters and operating engineers back under the organized labor umbrella group, strengthening its bargaining position in representing workers in negotiation with builders’ groups.

“When the house of labor is united, we can effect so much more positive change and make a larger positive impact on the construction industry, our communities and working families,” said Ben Bascom, communications director for the 23,000-member carpenters union, which split off eight years ago. 

“The Building Trades is heading in a direction that we want to be a part of and affiliated with,” said Daren Konopaski, International VP and business manager for IUOE Local 302, which also announced its new affiliation. 

Washington State Building Trades Council is headquartered in Olympia and currently represents 15 construction crafts comprised of 70,000 working men and women.