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Concrete solidarity: Strike grows in King County

The following is from Teamsters Local 174:

SEATTLE (Dec. 6, 2021) — As of Friday 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.

International Brotherhood of Teamsters General President Elect Sean O’Brien visited the Stoneway Concrete picket line last week to show his support.

“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.”

Founded in 1909, Teamsters Local 174 represents 8,600 working men and women in Seattle and the surrounding areas. See more pics from the Stoneway Concrete/Gary Merlino Construction picket lines at Teamsters 174’s Facebook page.


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