Seattle-area concrete delivery set to resume with some drivers cleared to work Tuesday

Mar 14, 2022, 6:00 PM | Updated: Mar 15, 2022, 6:12 pm
Concrete strike...
Seattle-area concrete delivery drivers on the picket line. (Teamsters Local 174)
(Teamsters Local 174)

Teamsters Local 174, the union which represents more than 300 concrete drivers in the Puget Sound region who have been on strike since November, announced Monday that they will allow workers with three of the suppliers — Salmon Bay Sand & Gravel, Cadman Seattle, and Lehigh Cement — to return to work Tuesday, March 15.

“We selected these particular companies because of their location, concrete being, of course, a perishable good, it can’t travel a really long way,” Jaime Fleming, a spokesperson with Teamsters 174, told KIRO Newsradio. “Salmon Bay has a facility in Ballard, and then Cadman Seattle is down in the southern end of Seattle. Between the two of them, a mixer truck full of concrete can get to pretty much any project in the Seattle area.”

The decision will allow concrete to once again be delivered throughout the Seattle area to projects that have been delayed in recent weeks and months, including the West Seattle Bridge repair, Sound Transit Link extension projects, the Seattle Convention Center expansion, and the 520 restoration project.

What’s next for West Seattle Bridge as concrete strike continues?

“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,” reads a statement on behalf of the Teamsters.

“We designate the beginning of the workday on Tuesday, March 15, 2022, as the time when our members will return to work.”

Negotiations for a new contract, the union states, will continue with each employer “until contracts are reached,” including with the three companies where workers have offered to return.

The employers appear poised to accept the return to work. A media spokesperson on behalf of Glacier Northwest, Stoneway Concrete, Salmon Bay Sand & Gravel, and Cadman Inc. confirmed with MyNorthwest that the return to work does not require employer approval. However, Fleming said that the employers have not ratified the agreement as of Monday evening.

“Today’s offer by Teamsters to return to work at three locations could help critical projects get back on track while negotiations for a three-year contract continue,” King County Executive Dow Constantine wrote in a news release. “I appreciate the Teamsters members and leaders who are continuing to bargain in good faith to get a fair contract. Now it’s time for the sand and gravel companies to do the same and return to the negotiating table, secure a fair and long-term contract, and get our region moving again.”

On Twitter, Seattle Mayor Bruce Harrell thanked the Teamsters, writing: “I want to thank Teamsters Local 174 for taking this extraordinary step forward toward ensuring concrete again flows on critical infrastructure projects. As negotiations continue, companies should follow this example in seeking good faith solutions.”

Editor’s Note: While the concrete suppliers said Monday night that they had no objections to the Teamsters’ return, they have since indicated that they require “five days to process the orderly reinstatement of the strikers.” 

KIRO Newsradio’s Diane Duthweiler contributed to this report.

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Seattle-area concrete delivery set to resume with some drivers cleared to work Tuesday