Frustration mounts as negotiations in Seattle concrete strike stall out ahead of holidays
To the frustration of many, there are no new negotiations on the schedule for what’s been a month-long strike for concrete workers across the Seattle area.
The strike includes 330 Teamster concrete mixer drivers, dump truck drivers, and cement plant employees spanning at least six companies, stemming from an ongoing 18-day strike originally comprising 34 construction workers.
On Monday, employers said they put forth a “generous and historic offer” to workers in the form of a 17.6% wage increase spanning three years, “an improvement in pension contributions,” and “continued support” for medical benefits.
“The Union leadership has rejected all good faith attempts to mediate and settle this matter,” a spokesperson for one of the companies told KIRO Radio. “The companies stand ready to resolve this dispute and get back to the business of supplying concrete to our customers.”
Union leadership disputes that assertion, having similarly accused their employers of “failing to bargain in good faith” after the companies’ lead negotiator submitted an offer that was “resoundingly rejected by Teamster leadership.”
The union has also expressed frustration this week over how negotiations have stalled out over the holiday season, with their employers out of office for vacation.
That’s had organizations like Sound Transit attempting to mediate.
“I think a number of us are trying to talk to both sides to get them back to the table, because it does have such a meaningful impact on our ability to get our projects moving forward,” Sound Transit CEO Peter Rogoff told KIRO Radio.
Rogoff says parts of some light rail projects are on hold with at least 40 workers having been laid off, and fears hundreds more construction workers will be let go in the coming weeks.