Teamsters reject latest concrete truck-driver contract, skip work over demands not being met

Aug 2, 2022, 11:09 AM
teamsters union workers reject offer...
Latest 4-year proposal from Employers Rejected 170 – 1 by Local 174 Members (Photo from Teamsters Local 174)
(Photo from Teamsters Local 174)

Members from the Teamsters Union Local 174 gathered together on Monday morning to vote on a new contract sent over from concrete companies, rejecting the contract 170-1 in a secret ballot. Over 100 workers did not show up to work afterward in protest of the contract proposal which they saw as “unjust” and did not meet members’ needs.

The union reached a truce in April to return to work on pouring concrete after striking for nearly 145 days. The strike ended somewhat unceremoniously with no new contract for the workers reached, returning to work in “good faith” that a resolution could be found without more economic delays in the community.

Union concrete workers, suppliers reach truce without scheduling new contract talks

Now the new offer was rejected by the union, saying the offers they keep receiving are similar and substandard. One of the main issues that they want to be addressed in the new contract is healthcare benefits for retirees, bridging the gap between when Medicare kicks in, along with getting paid a fair wage says Union representative Jaime Fleming.

“We are fighting for our families, while these companies are reporting record profits,” Fleming said. “We just want a share of that for all our teamsters so we can live our lives and get back to work.”

“This entire contract negotiation process has felt like the Twilight Zone in terms of how little sense the Companies are making,” said CalPortland driver and bargaining committee member Brett Gallagher. “From the beginning, our demands have been clear and reasonable. There’s nothing outrageous at all, but these companies just will not listen. It blows my mind that somehow, we are painted as the villains because we want a fair deal for our families.”

MyNorthwest has reached out to CalPortland, Stoneway Concrete, and Salmon Bay Sand and Gravel but has not heard a response yet.

Concrete workers did return to work August 2, with only slight disruption to construction projects. There is no current plan to strike, but if a deal isn’t made Fleming said that the union isn’t afraid to halt concrete pours and deliveries again.

“A strike is the last thing we want but we definitely need a change,” Fleming said. “We are willing to do what we need to do to get the respect we deserve from these companies. The fact that they are not taking us seriously enough by giving us the same offer that they know doesn’t have the benefits we need, it’s offensive.”


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Teamsters reject latest concrete truck-driver contract, skip work over demands not being met