Teamsters 174 offers limited return to work in concrete strike

UPDATE (March 17) from Teamsters 174 — Teamsters call on Cadman Seattle to stop postponing concrete mixer drivers’ return to work — Cadman Seattle’s postponement further delays critical infrastructure and low-income housing projects. Meanwhile, ready-mix concrete drivers are already back at work at local company Salmon Bay Sand & Gravel.

UPDATE (March 16) — The Puget Sound Business Journal reports that concrete drivers still not back at work despite offer to return — It could be several days before some of the region’s striking concrete delivery truck drivers are back on the job despite Teamsters Local 174’s offer late Monday afternoon to have those drivers back in their cabs the next day. The plant owners still need to tell the workers when to show up, said the union. As of Tuesday afternoon, those orders had not yet come, though the companies said they were working on return-to-work plans.


Good-faith offer: Striking workers at 3 companies will return to work to get concrete flowing


The following is from Teamsters Local 174:

SEATTLE (March 15, 2022) — As a strike by 330 members of Teamsters Local 174 enters its 116th day, the Teamsters on Monday made the decision to care for our communities by offering to return to work at Cadman Seattle, Lehigh Cement, and Salmon Bay Sand & Gravel. This decision will allow some concrete to flow to critical projects in and around Seattle, with a dedicated and professional Teamster workforce operating equipment they know well, including the West Seattle Bridge, Sound Transit, the Convention Center, and the Hwy 520 Bridge. Negotiations for a new contract will continue with each Employer individually until contracts are reached. This includes the three companies whose workers have offered to return to the job.

“It has become abundantly clear to us over the months this strike has gone on that these Employers simply do not care who they hurt in their quest to break the Union,” said Teamsters Local 174 Secretary-Treasurer Rick Hicks. “Thankfully, we are not like them in that regard. Unlike the Employers, we care deeply about our communities and the people who live in them, which is why we are making this good-faith offer. We are all in full agreement this is the right move for the industry and the community. Our Union is stronger than ever, and we will not give up our fight until we reach a fair contract.”

The full text of the letters sent to Cadman Seattle, Lehigh Cement, and Salmon Bay Sand & Gravel is below:

It has been the Union’s goal to reach a successor agreement since we commenced bargaining in mid-July 2021. This effort has continued despite your refusal, in tandem with the other sand and gravel industry companies with whom you are aligned, to bargain in “good faith”. Your actions have led to the Union filing charges with the NLRB and ultimately to the work stoppage we are engaged in currently. Through all of our attempts to convince you to course correct, including through public criticism, encouragement first and then pressure from multiple powerful political leaders, or pleadings from owners of major projects that have been severely affected by your behavior, you have demonstrated your blatant disregard for everyone who has been adversely affected. The Union and its members can no longer allow the destruction of the community we have literally built and that we love.

Your conduct, along with that of the other struck companies, has impacted numerous jobs, including the halting of work on Sound Transit, the construction of the Seattle Waterfront, the Convention Center expansion, the 520 restoration project, the West Seattle Bridge repairs and countless construction projects, both public and private. You and the other three companies have refused to reach an Agreement despite the multiple concessions the Union has made, proving this has never been about the employees’ demands. This is and has always been about “Union busting”. Hopefully, now that we have exposed that failed strategy, you will all finally do the right thing for the sake of the community, the thousands of workers who are laid-off, and the contractors you have cost millions of dollars in delays.

To that end, we are making a leap of faith and pray this brings an end to this completely unnecessary situation caused by your ill-conceived actions.

After much consideration, and on behalf of the bargaining unit we represent and who you employ, which is currently engaged in an unfair labor practice strike against your company, the Union hereby accepts your March 4, 2022, offer to permit our members to return to work “at any time” for the Seattle Location.  We designate the beginning of the workday on Tuesday, March 15, 2022, as the time when our members will return to work.  To maximize efficiency, please promptly inform our members who are employed by you regarding their work assignments on that day.

We are accepting your offer in hopes that a continuation of bargaining will produce an Agreement once and for all. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me directly at (206) 441-6060. Otherwise, we will be standing by waiting to hear from you on your availability to resume bargaining.


General Teamsters Local Union No. 174

Rick Hicks


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