About 500 union fire-sprinkler installers have gone on strike, affecting work on several of the largest construction projects in the Seattle...

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About 500 union fire-sprinkler installers have gone on strike, affecting work on several of the largest construction projects in the Seattle area.

Tom Collins, a spokesman for Sprinkler Fitters and Apprentices Local 699, said the union struck local fire-sprinkler contractors Tuesday after their contract expired at midnight.

He said picket lines had gone up at about 25 sites in the Puget Sound area, including Olive 8 and 818 Stewart in downtown Seattle and the Bravern, Bellevue Towers and City Center Plaza in downtown Bellevue.

Other union construction workers appeared to be honoring the picket lines for the most part, Collins said.

David Thyer, president of R.C. Hedreen, Olive 8’s developer, said only about 20 nonunion construction workers were working on the high-rise hotel/condo project today. Normally more than 300 people would be on the job, he said.

“It’s difficult for us to lose work days,” Thyer said. “Hopefully they can resolve all this by next week.”

Representatives of two fire-sprinkler contractors did not immediately return calls.

Collins said bargaining had been going on with employers for about a month, but no negotiating sessions are scheduled. One sticking point is the contract’s term, he said — the union wants three years, but employers are want four.

Eric Pryne: 206-464-2231 or epryne@seattletimes.com