Despite truce in concrete strike, drivers aren’t called back to work

BELLEVUE, Wash. — After negotiating for months, Puget Sound concrete workers are taking a break from the picket line. No deal has been made, but they have temporarily stopped protesting. For many, Monday was their first day back on the job, but Teamsters organizers say the return to work has been slow going.

According to Local 174, three of the six local concrete companies (Cadman, Stoneway and Merlino Construction) have not called any of the more than 300 workers back.

“Offering to return to work without a fair contract was one of the hardest decisions I’ve ever made, but we made the decision as a union because this is bigger than ourselves, and we didn’t want to see our community hurt anymore,” said mixer driver Brett Gallagher. “It’s a slap in the face to everyone in Seattle that these concrete companies are so used to dragging their feet that they can’t even call us back to work.”

KIRO 7 has reached out to the concrete companies for a response but has yet to hear back from them.

While tensions continue to rise, the news of a temporary truce is celebrated by trade workers. Local builders estimate that, in March, as many as 15,000 lost their jobs due to the strike.

“Laborers, carpenters, everyone felt that,” said laborer John Hall. “Even the places that stayed open had to trim down.”