The Teamsters Local 174 union, representing concrete mixer drivers and cement plant employees, is on strike. They are demanding better worker rights. The union is currently in a standoff with cement companies and has been since late last year. Now, according to a union statement, they have more than 330 workers across six companies in the construction industry on strike.
This strike is affecting everything that requires concrete from buildings to roadways. The Washington State Department of Transportation, the city of Seattle and King County have released a statement saying, “A prolonged work stoppage could delay critical regional infrastructure activities under construction.” Very notably, this would include the light rail expansions to Lynnwood, the Eastside, downtown Redmond and Federal Way. Big tech companies are also affected with office building construction put on hold. One example of such being a Meta (formerly known as Facebook) building in Bellevue’s Spring District.
Recently the Teamsters Local 174 union and construction companies met with a federal mediator but nothing was resolved. The union’s statement said that “Even the lead negotiators on the Teamsters’ side, who have decades of combined experience negotiating industry-leading contracts, were stunned by the Employers’ utter disregard for the process of conflict resolution and contract negotiation.” While four concrete companies said in their statement that they “have provided the Teamsters with the best package we have ever offered which includes a 17.6% pay increase over the next three years, improves pension contributions, provides excellent medical benefits, and a generous retiree medical insurance rarely found in other labor contracts.” There are no further reported planned mediation sessions and the union says picket lines will remain active until a contract is reached.