Press Contact: Jami Fleming Phone: (425) 281-0166 Email: JFleming@teamsters174.org
No Interest from Employers on One-year Extension Offer while Negotiations Continue
Members of Teamsters Local 174 met with federal mediators and Employer representatives yesterday in an attempt to navigate a path out of the 3-month labor dispute that has shut down the booming Seattle-area construction business. 330 Teamsters at six different concrete, cement, and construction companies have been on strike for nearly 100 days, leading to the layoff of thousands of Building Trades workers and a massive backlog of unpoured concrete that will take months to unwind. The Teamsters took the opportunity to make a completely new proposal that would put workers back in trucks immediately while negotiations continue on a full-term contract. The Employers balked.
In a bid to bring about some resolution and allow tempers to cool, the Teamsters made a good-faith offer to go back to work with a one-year deal, without the Employers’ main stumbling block of the enhanced retirees medical plan workers desired. The Employers did not even respond to this entirely new offer. Instead, they added an additional 15 cents to wages to their prior three-year offer, increasing it to around 4.5 percent per year on the entire package of wages, medical and retirement. The Teamsters followed up with yet another good-faith offer to sign a three-year agreement with an economic opener after the first year, which the Employers again rejected out of hand.
“If there was any doubt about the Employers’ end game with this strike, their continued intransigence yesterday put that to bed,” said Teamsters Local 174 Secretary-Treasurer Rick Hicks. “This is about breaking the Union, plain and simple. We were willing to put aside our number one priority if it meant getting this industry back up off its knees, and they refused to entertain that offer. Clearly, these Employers are not willing to accept anything other than complete domination of the hardworking men and women who do the work and earn them their fortunes. We categorically reject that position.”
With no settlement in sight, workers will continue to strike. The Teamsters also offered to take negotiations public, holding talks via Zoom where impacted workers could listen in and hear each side explain their positions. The Companies balked at that offer as well.
Founded in 1909, Teamsters Local 174 represents 8,600 working men and women in Seattle and the surrounding areas. “Like” us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/TeamstersLocal174.