Seattle-area Teamsters end strike, return to work

Dive Brief:

  • The monthslong concrete drivers strike has ended. Teamsters Local 174 announced Friday that its 300-plus ready-mix truckers and support staff would offer an unconditional return to work, starting Monday.
  • There has been no deal between the Teamsters and employers Stoneway Concrete, Gary Merlino Construction, Cadman Materials, CalPortland/Glacier Northwest, Salmon Bay Sand and Gravel, and Lehigh Cement. Instead, drivers will return to work as negotiations continue.
  • Since November, the strike suffocated the flow of concrete to Seattle-area projects, including vital infrastructure, such as the West Seattle Bridge. 

Dive Insight:

“For months, the concrete companies have used their control over Seattle’s concrete industry to drag out negotiations, and it has been devastating for our community and for our sisters and brothers in the Building Trades,” said Teamsters Local 174 Secretary-Treasurer, Rick Hicks, in a statement. “Our members love our community and are returning to work for the people of Seattle.”

Glacier Northwest, Stoneway, Salmon Bay and Cadman issued a statement applauding the return while maintaining their assertion that they had bargained generously and fairly.

“This has been a difficult time for the drivers, our customers, and the community at-large,” the statement read. “We see this as a very positive step towards recovery … Each of the companies will now focus on rapidly ramping up operations to facilitate the workers’ return; it will take us time to get back to pre-strike levels.”

Sound Transit, the city’s public transportation agency, welcomed the end of the strike Friday, urging both sides to negotiate a new deal quickly.

“This is great news for resuming work on the largest transit expansion program in the nation,” said Peter Rogoff, Sound Transit CEO, in a statement. “With months of backlogged concrete deliveries across the region, we all must now work together to dig ourselves out of a deep hole.

This story has been updated to include comment from the employers.

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