Press Contact: Jamie Fleming Phone: (425) 281-0166 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
As the holidays approach, the strike is taking an economic toll on the workgroup – especially those with children at home who are looking forward to Christmas. The affected Employers are telling customers to expect this to last into next year. If you would like to offer support to the workers, you can click here to donate to the “Local 174 Merlino Heavy Highway and Sand & Gravel / Cement Industries Striking Workers Assistance Fund.” You can also make a check out to “Teamsters 174 Worker Assistance Fund” and send to:
Teamsters Local 174
14675 Interurban Ave S Suite 303
Tukwila, WA 98168
As of this morning, unionized concrete has stopped flowing throughout King County as members of Teamsters Local 174 walked off the job in an Unfair Labor Practice strike. Prior to today, well over 100 Teamsters were already on strike at Gary Merlino Construction and Stoneway Concrete. That number now swells to over 300, as workers from Cadman, CalPortland, Salmon Bay Sand & Gravel, and Lehigh Cement stopped pouring concrete throughout the Puget Sound area.
The Unfair Labor Practice strike is the result of 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. 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”.
Now that the Teamsters are on strike, the clock is ticking on all construction going on in King County. Without concrete, the impact of this strike will be strongly felt throughout the region.
“Our members have had enough of Charlie Oliver’s insults,” said Teamsters Local 174 Secretary-Treasurer Rick Hicks. “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.”
“My message to the owners and managers of all these concrete companies is this: Charlie Oliver is not telling you the truth,” Hicks continued. “He has completely bungled these negotiations, to the point where concrete has now stopped flowing and all of us are losing money. Come back to the bargaining table and let’s get a deal so we can all get back to work and enjoy the holiday season.”