The general strike of the Teamsters Local 174 continues after the holiday break | Status
SEATTLE, January 3, 2022 / PRNewswire / – After a brief hiatus over the holidays, the picket lines are back as 330 Teamsters continue to hold work on strike against unfair labor practices. The strike started on November 19th with 34 workers at Gary Merlino Construction but has since escalated into a general strike Gary Merlino, Stoneway Concrete, Cadman, CalPortland / Glacier, Salmon Bay Sand and Kies, and Lehigh Cement. The workers are all members of Teamsters Local 174 and are on strike in protest of the six companies’ refusal to negotiate in good faith. The contracts have expired since July 31, 2021.
With the holidays in the rearview mirror, the struggle for a fair contract has become even more important. Without concrete, construction projects across the Puget Sound region will quickly run out of work for other construction trades, forcing potentially thousands of workers to be laid off. The widespread impact of employers’ refusal to return to the negotiating table with the Teamsters could devastate the local economy – adding to the impact their arrogance has already had on working families in the US Seattle Area many of which haven’t seen a paycheck in weeks.
The spokesman for the employers’ side, Charlie Oliver of Gary Merlino Construction, hasn’t spoken to the Teamsters in almost six weeks. Meanwhile, contractors working on construction projects across the region are threatening lawsuits if the concrete doesn’t start flowing again soon, despite the National Labor Relations Act and Teamsters ‘expired contracts with companies protecting workers’ right to withhold their work until one Contract comes about. Local politicians have also interfered in the dispute to restart negotiations.
“The arrogance of employers in this case is absolutely astonishing and cannot go on unchecked,” said Teamter’s Local 174 Secretary-Treasurer Rick hicks. “Through Charlie Olivers Inexperience in negotiating and Don Merlinos Refusal to answer the phone, 330 people on strike, 330 families wonder if they will lose health insurance, and thousands more workers laid off and receiving unemployment benefits from the state. We’ve stopped major construction projects, affordable housing projects are losing money they can’t afford, and laid-off families are getting desperate every day. “
“How much damage can a man’s ego do?” Hicks went on. “The Teamsters remain ready to sit down and negotiate in good faith. We are ready to negotiate a fair deal that will treat our members with the same respect they showed other construction professions when negotiating their contracts earlier this year. All we want is fairness. Let’s say Seattle Construction workers ‘interests before the Merlinos’ egos. “
Teamsters Local 174 was founded in 1909 and represents 8,600 working men and women in Seattle and the surrounding areas. “Like” us on Facebook www.facebook.com/TeamstersLocal174.
Jamie Fleming, (425) 281-0166
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SOURCE Teamsters Local 174