Striking concrete workers ordered to return to some construction sites

August 03, 2011 03:31PM

Concrete workers that abandoned some construction sites in the wake of their expired labor contract were ordered to return to their jobs Tuesday night. Crain’s reported that an arbitrator ruled that concrete laborers at West 57th Street, Madison Square Garden, Barclays Center and Tower 2 of the World Trade Center were in violation of a no-strike provision in labor agreements at those sites.

The Cement and Concrete Workers District Council plans to appeal the ruling, Crain’s said, as it will argue that the no-strike agreement is not applicable since the contract expired in June. But by Wednesday workers at all four sites were back on the job. A similar hearing is scheduled today for walkouts at The New Weill Cornell Medical College On East 69th Street.

“When we got the [project labor agreement], the main thing we got out of it was the no-strike clause,” said Steven Spinola, president of the Real Estate Board of New York. “The fact that we had the PLA and enforced it, and they’re back working today demonstrates there was a value to the PLA.”

Crain’s noted that as the strikes at other sites wear on, workers in other construction fields will continue to lose jobs. Five hundred workers from other trades have already lost work. Meanwhile, as previously reported, two dozen carpenters have also walked of the World Trade Center site in support of the concrete workers during their contract impasse. [Crain’s]