Concrete truck drivers a no-show to work after failed negotiations with concrete companies

Teamsters Union Local 174 confirms with KIRO 7 that over 100 concrete mixer drivers did not show up to work after a secret ballot vote on Monday, stalling several projects in the area.

Jamie Fleming with the union says it rejected the concrete companies’ offer 170-1, saying the offer still does not meet its members’ needs. The union says it has been under an expired contract with these companies for over a year now.

“I mean this is just ridiculous,” Fleming said.

“And the fact that these companies are not moving from a position that they know for a fact that has been told over and over and over again that this isn’t good enough. And they are not moving from that position. It’s just ridiculous and it’s offensive,” Fleming said.

KIRO 7 reached out to the companies CalPortland, Stoneway Concrete, as well as Salmon Bay Sand and Gravel, who shared the following statement:

“We’ve provided Teamsters 174 with an offer that makes our drivers among the highest paid in the industry and bolsters an already generous benefits package. Our offer raises hourly wages for our drivers by nearly 22%, to more than $45 per hour over the term of the contract.

Our hope was that union leadership would acknowledge that our offer is fair and recommend that its members accept the agreement. That apparently did not happen today.

We’ve held that any negotiation must be led by thoughtful people intent upon finding an equitable agreement. We believe that we have lived up to that aim and will continue to follow the direction of Federal mediators regarding future negotiations.”

Fleming says the drivers are expected to return to work tomorrow and that there is no strike at this time. But if a deal isn’t made, she says the union isn’t afraid to play that card.

“But we can pull that plug again anytime if companies don’t take things seriously,” Fleming said.

Union members with Teamsters were on strike for 145 days last year. Fleming says they went back to work without an agreement in good faith, hoping the companies involved would do the same.

“I think it was the right move to go back to work because so many people were hurting. Our members, the communities and other construction trades,” Fleming said.

KIRO 7 also asked Fleming if the union worries about whether these companies would outsource their driving needs.

“They tried before and it didn’t work. At the end of the day, you get what you paid for,” Fleming stated.