Illinois Strike Ends With Agreement

International Union of Operating Engineers Local 150 members reached a tentative agreement with the Chicago Area Aggregate Producers Association. The agreement ends a strike that began June 7 at 35 Chicago-area facilities owned by Lehigh Hanson, Vulcan Materials Co. and Holcim. 

The employers made what they described as a final offer on July 15, but union representatives said it was full of errors and deviated from language upon which both sides had previously agreed.

“We had to spend this entire week cleaning up the mess that CAAPA created with its language changes,” Local 150 President and Business Manager James Sweeney said in a statement. 

Ahead of the vote, Emily MacMillan, a spokesperson for the producers’ association, described the new contract proposal as “generous,” noting that it included more than 20 changes requested by the union, as well as continued health care and pension benefits.

According to a survey of Illinois Road and Transportation Builders Association members, the strike resulted in layoffs of about 800 workers from various trades, CEO Michael Sturino said. Builders reported they were doubtful if close to 130 projects could be completed by the end of the season.

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