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Strike Over!

According to an alert from Engineering News Record (subscription required for the full story), the strike of the International Union of Operating Engineers Local 150, AFL-CIO and the Chicago-area Laborer’s District Council reported in last month’s BLS (US Bureau of Labor Statistics) workforce numbers was settled after 9 hours of negotiations.  The negotiations were precipitated by the Illinois Department of Transportation threatening to shut down some major expansion projects, even the Illinois Tollway project which, according to some sources, is against their own rules.  The strike began on May 31 when the union contracts ran out. The pickets impacted over 300 projects around the region.

Both sides claimed victory.  The negotiations created a revised contract that is good for 3 years.  As I said earlier, I find it amazing that in this economy, they were striking when the unemployment rate is at 9.5% and even higher in parts of the Mid West.

I also find it strange that the reported BLS workforce numbers indicated that 10,000 construction workers were out on strike, but according to the ENR report, the number was 50% higher at 15,000.  They were out for 3 weeks before they got to the bargaining table.

Even stranger to me is the fact that the website for the local says nothing about this settlement and the last news reported was from March 30 of this year.

What do you think?


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