Unionized concrete drivers and workers have walked off the job across the Puget Sound region as members of the Teamsters Local 174 union participate in what they are calling an “Unfair Labor Practice” strike.
According to a statement from the union over 300 workers are striking against a host of contractors including Gary Merlino Construction, Stoneway Concrete, Cadman, CalPortland, Salmon Bay Sand & Gravel, and Lehigh Cement.
Statements from the Teamsters Local 174 union claim the strike is a result of their employers’ failure to bargain in good faith for a new contract.
“After months of offers that dramatically undercut other construction trade union contracts, lead negotiator Charlie Oliver submitted another ‘Last, Best, and Final’ offer to the Union that added mere pennies to the previous offer,” read a statement from the union. “This offer was not made in good faith, and was resoundingly rejected by the Teamster membership. Instead, the group decided to walk off the job until the employers decide to negotiate in ‘good faith’.”
The union is leveraging King County’s need for concrete for construction projects across the region as a way to create impact and to have their contract demands met.
“Our members have had enough of Charlie Oliver’s insults,” said Teamsters Local 174 Secretary-Treasurer Rick Hicks via written statement. “He seems to believe these workers exist solely for him to exploit and abuse, and that they can be replaced at a moment’s notice. Well, now is his chance to prove it, or he can come back to the bargaining table with a legitimate offer rather than more insults.”
Hicks urged the employers to once again come back to the bargaining table in “good faith.”