Richland Line Crew Pushes For Fair Wages

RICHLAND WA- The City of Richland's line crew is looking for the communities help in asking the city for a fair and livable wage. 

Richland is payed the second lowest wage in the entire state of Washington for their work. 

That is 7 percent lower than surrounding areas, including crews in Kennewick and Pasco.

When asked why, Richland said they simply don't have the money, but workers like Allen Scott are looking for answers. 

Like why don't Kennewick and Pasco have this same money problem? 

"We're 7 percent below every utility in this area because Richland doesn't want to come up with a fair and livable wage. We do the same work we take the same risks, we're out on holidays, weekends, we miss our kids' sporting events. Were 24/7 on call I don't understand why were not there yet," said Scott. 

The city just received a 7.3 million dollar grant from the American Rescue Plan, so the Richland Line Crew is wondering where that money is going. 

If the city refuses the wage increase, workers will be forced to make the hard decision to either work for less money while putting their life on the line, or  uprooting their families to look for a better paying job.

If the crews go elsewhere, the City will have to out source to contracted crews. 

Contracted crews cost the city more money, there is a 5-10% cost increase which would mean higher power bills, longer restoration times, and the money paid to crews would go to their economy and not our local one. 

The crew plans to take their case to the Richland City Council meeting Tuesday.