Strike against quarries delaying Illinois road projects

Editor’s Note: This story was up-to-date July 7, 2022, with updated reaction from the Chicago Place Aggregate Producers Affiliation.

A strike by significant gear operators at mixture quarries in northern Illinois is stalling street tasks and could lead to bid lettings getting suspended, according to the state’s transportation secretary.

Transportation Secretary Omer Osman wrote a letter to the 3 aggregates producers specific in the strike – Lehigh Hanson, Vulcan and Lafarge Holcim – inquiring them to arrive at a deal with the 300 associates of the Global Union of Working Engineers Nearby 150 who took to the picket line June 7.

“The ongoing strike has introduced lots of of our tasks to a halt, with much more jobs shutting down by the working day,” Osman wrote June 30. “…The timing of the perform stoppage could not arise at a worse time, at the peak of building year and through peak driving year with an eager public prepared to journey immediately after two yrs of a pandemic.”

Jobs negatively influenced incorporate the Jane Byrne Interchange reconstruction in Chicago, the Interstate 55 and Weber Street interchange, the Interstate 80 bridge in Joliet and resurfacing tasks in the course of northeast Illinois and Chicago, he explained.

He writes that if the strike continues the Illinois Department of Transportation may suspend June lettings and revisit whether or not to go ahead with July lettings. He also mentions the “the right to investigate employing option combine designs to make sure the continuity of our tasks.”

“The section will not bear any duty or charge for greater bills experienced mainly because of the strike,” he provides.

“The personnel of IUOE Nearby 150 have played a significant function in revitalizing our state’s infrastructure, stepping up to keep on performing on our position internet sites as important staff all through the pandemic. With the very best pursuits of the condition in head, we contact on administration to discount in good faith and offer you the wages and protections the personnel ought to have. We urge the parties to arrive to a fair resolution with out delay.”

The IUOE Local 150 claims it referred to as the strike about unfair labor procedures and has introduced the corporations a complete counterproposal to the companies’ provide. It claims this is the to start with time it has voted to strike against the materials producers industry given that 1967.

“This strike can only be fixed through negotiations with the firms, and they are merely not bargaining in superior religion at this time,” said union President-Business Manager James M. Sweeney on June 30. “Every day, additional businesses are operating out of materials, far more projects are remaining delayed, and extra personnel are becoming laid off as a outcome.”

The union tweeted that negotiations resumed July 6 “with progress on several issues.” Talks have been continued to July 7.

The a few corporations are negotiating as the Chicago Space Mixture Producers Affiliation. They operate 35 sand, gravel and stone quarries throughout northern Illinois. Employees on strike function significant machines in the quarries. The corporations have brought in alternative personnel with no skills or safety education, according to the union. The businesses have denied this.

The affiliation accuses the union of stalling talks and suggests the strike was known as with no a wage proposal becoming introduced soon after their labor arrangement expired April 30.

“Local 150 has made unfounded statements with regards to protection issues and utilizing unskilled substitute employees,” the Aggregate Producers Association reported in a news release June 16. “These allegations are only not true. Our experienced and experienced administration staff members are functioning to aid our customers to lessen disruption to their enterprises.

“The strike not only jeopardizes critical infrastructure requires that impact roadways, bridges and flood-prevention assignments, it also improves prices for taxpayers through this shortened building season.”

In reaction to Osman’s letter, the association stated it has been “at the bargaining table with the union practically a dozen moments.” But it provides that it has “struggled to understand the precise function of the strike.” As to wages and gains, it states it has not yet been equipped to occur to arrangement on the union’s proposal.

On July 7, the association stated, “We carry on to meet with Neighborhood 150 to come across popular ground on a reasonable and equitable contract. Getting our personnel back to operate is out range a person priority.”