Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Concrete workers' strike averted at last minute

This morning, Crain's New York Business reported, in Builders will risk strike to cut wages (via Local 157 blogspot, run by Carpenters Union member John Musumeci):
Some of the city's leading developers met last week and decided to bear the short-term pain of another concrete workers strike—which might begin as early as Wednesday—in order to win concessions that could help them regain market share from nonunion developers of hotels and residential buildings.

Sources said developers met last Tuesday with representatives of the Cement League, the industry association handling contract negotiations, and vowed to support the Cement League's demand for a 20% wage reduction on residential and hotel projects.
Strike averted

Tonight, however, that article was updated to Deal in final hours averts concrete strike:
Hours before a midnight deadline, concrete unions and an industry association hammered out a tentative contract agreement Tuesday, averting a strike that could have crippled high-profile construction projects across the city, sources said.

Details of the deal, which covers approximately 2,700 workers, were not immediately available.

Talks had grown contentious around a demand by cement contractors that the unions accept a 20% pay cut on residential and hotel work to help them recapture market share lost to nonunion builders.
Concrete workers picketed on August 1 outside the Atlantic Yards site, but no strike was called.

Carpenters Union division over contract

Crain's also noted:
Rank-and-file carpenters are planning to rally Friday afternoon outside their union headquarters on Hudson Street to protest rumored givebacks. A blog run by John Musumeci, a member of Local 157 of the District Council, reported last week that a tentative five-year deal had been reached that cuts pay 5% in the first year. Members of the District Council, which is operating under a federally-appointed review officer, do not get to vote to ratify their contracts. The District Council reported to members last week that “significant progress” had been made, but a final agreement had yet to be reached.

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