Phoenix aggregate drivers end strike against Vulcan Materials

Dive Brief:

  • Eight Arizona-based mining vehicle operators unanimously voted to approve a new contract with Vulcan Materials — the nation’s largest producer of construction aggregates like crushed stone, sand and gravel — after a two-year struggle over collective bargaining led members of Teamsters Local 104 to strike , the union said in a release shared with Construction Dive.
  • The operators, known as the “Vulcan Eight,” unanimously voted to authorize a strike against Birmingham, Alabama-based Vulcan in June. Should the strike have continued, the Teamsters claimed it could have had a lasting impact across the country and affected projects and partner companies like building material supplier CEMEX.
  • The agreement provides the Vulcan Eight “with a solid economic package” according to the release.

Dive Insight:

“No matter the size of the bargaining unit, Local 104 stands with workers across Arizona,” said Ryan Proctor, Local 104 business agent, in the release.

“We’re happy to have reached an agreement that is in the best interest of our employees,” Janet Kavinoky, Vulcan Materials’ vice president of external affairs and corporate communications, told Construction Dive.

Vulcan Materials also saw a weekslong strike end in the greater Chicago area last month. Members of the Local 150 chapter of the International Union of Operating Engineers went on strike against Chicago Area Aggregate Producers Association — whose members include Vulcan, Lehigh Hanson and Lafarge Holcim — alleging unfair business practices.

Their strike slowed the harvesting of aggregate materials necessary for concrete production, which also snarled roadwork projects in the region and forced infrastructure projects into restructuring timelines for when they could pour materials.

The Chicago strike lasted from June 7 to July 26, and the details of the agreement between Local 150 and CAAPA were not announced.

Previously, in Seattle, members of the Teamsters Local 174 went on strike against multiple employers — Stoneway Concrete, Gary Merlino Construction, Cadman Materials, CalPortland, Salmon Bay Sand And Gravel and Lehigh Cement — demanding wage hikes and enhanced healthcare benefits for retired workers.

In that case, however, the Teamsters agreed to return to work unconditionally after 140 days. Experts indicated the length of that strike was its undoing.

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