Chicago-area road construction disrupted by strike by International Union of Operating Engineers – Chicago Sun-Times


A strike, now virtually a month previous, in the direction of three enchancment supplies producers is snagging road tasks Inside the Chicago space And will strain some to be canceled.

Native 150 of the Worldwide Union of Working Engineers has been on strike since June 7 in the direction of corporations the union said function 35 quarries and completely different places throughout Northern Illinois.

Lehigh Hanson, Vulcan Materials and Lafarge Holcim produce sand, gravel and crushed stone needed for asphalt and concrete. About 300 staff are involved Inside the walkout.

Ed Maher, communications director for Native 150, said asphalt has Discover your self to be almost inconceivable for road crews to get and that factors with concrete provides are rising. He said The corporations have agreed to no talks since A quick session Wednesday.

“We now have made ourselves out there Daily,” Maher said. “We acknowledge the influence this strike is having on The enchancment enterprise, and that’s why We now Want to low cost and get this settled.”

The corporations negotiate as members of the Chicago Area Combination Producers Affiliation. A spokesperson for the group Might not be reached.

Omer Osman, secretary of the Illinois Division of Transportation, urged the three corporations in a letter Thursday to settle the strike.

Osman said the strike is lengthening tasks Similar to a Outcome of the Jane Byrne Interchange downmetropolis, the Interstate 55 and Weber Road interchange and the Interstate 80 bridge in Joliet. Pretty A pair of resurfacing tasks Inside the Chicago space Are additionally affected, he said.

“The work stoppage Might not happen at a worse time, On The peak of enchancment season And by way of peak driving season with an eager public In a place to journey after two years of a pandemic,” Osman wrote.

He said contracts accredited in June Might Want to be suspended and that these scheduled in July Might be deferred.

Maria Castaneda, an IDOT spokesperson, said some road crews have made do by altering schedules And dealing by way of stockpiles however thOn The factors are compounding. Castaneda said A lot of the agency’s roadwork is affected, although some tasks in Northern Illinois use supplies from Indiana and Wisconsin.

Erica Schroeder of The metropolis of Chicago Division of Transportation said that agency has . “been In a place to work by way of stockpiles, however Daily the strike will get extra detrimental.”

Native 150 member Jamal Chester said his employer in McCook, Vulcan, has used supervisors To purpose to deal with some gear and thOn The completely different two corporations have tried strikebreakers. He said The corporations have been sluggish To barter.

“I assume they actually didn’t assume We’d stand by our phrase,” Chester said.

Maher said disputed issues Which have to be settled embrace wages, advantages and grievance procedures. The union has filed a quantity of complaints with the Nationwide Labor Relations Board, accusing The corporations of unfair labor practices.

He said leaders of Native 150 have been irritated thOn The corporations’ negotiators apparently lack choice-making authority. Two of the three corporations are based mostly overseas, Based on their web websites.

Maher said the union was grateful that U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vermont, voiced his assist for the strike Friday.

“These billion-greenback corporations have seen SKYROCKETING income,” Sanders tweeted. “Sure — They will afford to deal with staff with respect and to low cost in good religion.”


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