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Some concrete workers return to jobs in King County amid ongoing strike

The Teamsters Local 174 union alleges one concrete company has not dispatched workers who offered to return to their jobs amid the ongoing strike.

Editor's note: The above video about some workers being open to returning to work originally aired March 14, 2022.

SEATTLE —  Some concrete workers who have offered to return to their jobs haven't been dispatched by cement companies, according to a statement from the Teamsters Local No. 174. 

The union representing workers released a statement Monday, offering a return to work at Cadman Seattle, Lehigh Cement, and Salmon Bay Sand & Gravel to "meet community needs."

In the letter, the union said it was "making a leap of faith" with the offer.

Both Salmon Bay Sand and Lehigh Cement called workers back, according to a spokesperson. 

However, the union alleges Cadman Seattle "refused to return its Seattle mixer drivers in a timely manner or provide them with a return date." 

Repairs to the West Seattle Bridge, Sound Transit expansion projects, the Convention Center expansion, the Highway 520 restoration project, critical low-income housing projects and many other public and private construction projects remain paused without concrete drivers and mixers. 

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King County and Seattle leaders have implored companies and the union representing concrete workers to come to an agreement as soon as possible.

Teamsters Local No. 174 said construction companies are trying to force a package on workers that would be significantly less compared to what other construction workers are receiving. Wages, healthcare and retirement would decrease in compensation over the next three years, when taking inflation into consideration.

The union said it's willing to talk through and work around key disagreements in the negotiations but said the concrete companies are not budging.

The four concrete companies on the other side of the strike issued a statement in late January that they had sent the "best package we have ever offered," including a "17.6 percent pay increase over the next three years."

A harsh impact of the strike is Seattle's halt on construction.

The deadline has come and gone to end the strike in time to complete work as planned on the West Seattle Bridge, which was expected to reopen in mid-July 2022.

Projects like the University of Washington Medical Center's psychiatric hospital have also fallen behind

In the first of its kind proposal, King County announced in February it was seeking contract bids from suppliers to help continue construction projects. King County confirmed Thursday it did not receive any bids and said it is evaluating its next steps.


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