Last-minute deal before deadline prevents strike of concrete workers at high-profile sites 

August 16, 2011 07:00PM

A last-minute deal has prevented a strike of concrete workers at
high-profile building construction sites, Crain’s reported. Concrete
unions and an industry association came to a tentative contract
agreement this evening before a midnight deadline that could have led the 2,700 workers affected to strike. Cement contractors had demanded
that the unions accept a 20 percent pay cut on residential and hotel
work as they compete with other companies that use nonunion builders.

The contract had initially expired June 30, but negotiators extended
the deadline several times as they were unable to reach a deal.
The 20 percent paycut had sparked a three day strike earlier this month at 1 World
Trade Center and a nearby transit site. Workers were then ordered back
to work on sites with no-strike agreements such as 2 World
Trade Center tower, Madison Square Garden, a luxury residential
development On West 57th Street and the new Weill Cornell Medical
research center. The deal comes as a surprise, since earlier today a deal had seemed unlikely. Neither party would comment on details of the agreement.

Meanwhile, a deadline to reach a new contract for 25,000 carpenters is
also growing near. Their old contract, which also expired June 30, was
extended until last Friday, and several carpenters plan to rally this Friday
afternoon outside union headquarters on Hudson Street to protest a
deal that would not meet their demands. [Crain’s]