Teamsters reach agreement with concrete suppliers after nearly 1 year of negotiations

Sep 12, 2022, 1:35 PM | Updated: Sep 14, 2022, 10:56 am

concrete strike...

Striking concrete drivers with Teamsters 174 circa March, 2022 (Photo courtesy Teamsters 174)

(Photo courtesy Teamsters 174)

After first going on strike nearly 10 months ago, Seattle-area concrete drivers have now ratified a new contract with several suppliers.

The workers, represented by Teamsters Union Local 174, were able to get most of the demands in their new contract met, with the biggest requests including medical coverage for active employees, pension increases, and new rules to solve workplace safety issues. More than 75% of the voting workers approved the new deal.

Last month, the Teamsters voted overwhelmingly against an offer, saying they kept receiving similar and substandard contract offers.

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

The companies Cadman, CalPortland, Salmon Bay Sand and Gravel, and Stoneway Concrete have said that they are pleased with the agreement, according to Mark Firmani, a spokesperson representing the companies.

“We are pleased that we were able to reach an agreement with the Teamsters Local 174,” Firmani wrote. “The final agreement provides our drivers a four-year contract with an exceptional package of wages and benefits. We are happy to bring the issue to a close.”

After striking in the Seattle area for nearly five months, most of the 330 formerly picketing concrete delivery drivers returned to work in April, but there have also been a series of single-day walkouts and work stoppages since then. Workers continued in “good faith” that a resolution could be found, saying they did not want to continue to negatively affect the community with their strike while still pushing for an agreement for better working conditions.

The new contract covers the 225 concrete delivery drivers through 2025.

One demand that didn’t get met was an adjusted medical plan for retired members who have not yet reached Medicare eligibility, but union officials said in a statement they would “take the high road” in order to get the contract.

“These greedy companies refused to give their employees a benefit that would have cost the owners absolutely nothing,” Local 174 Secretary-Treasurer Rick Hicks said. “Instead, they spent more on this contract than we would have accepted if they had included improved retiree medical in the offer. This proves once and for all this was never about the contract. It was about busting the union — and they failed.”

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Teamsters reach agreement with concrete suppliers after nearly 1 year of negotiations