A tentative agreement between unions in the Chicago area and construction companies could end the three-week strike that has affected 300 Illinois Department of Transportation projects and stalled construction on the Eisenhower Expressway.
After nine hours of bargaining on Monday, July 19, the International Union of Operating Engineers Local 150 came to the tentative agreement and will meet for a ratification vote on Wednesday, July 21.
The tentative agreement with the Mid-American Regional Bargaining Association includes a 3.25% increase for three years for health care and benefits. The agreement also includes concessions for overtime reductions and flexible start times.
The union reached similar agreements with Will and Grundy Contractors Association, the Illinois Valley Contractors Association and the Chicago Area Independent Contractors’ Association.
A spokeswoman for the Mid-American Regional Bargaining Association told the Chicago Tribune that the negotiation produced “good results.”
Members of the Laborers’ District Council of Chicago and Vicinity went on strike June 20, and the International Union of Operating Engineers Local 150 followed on July 1.
While the union accused employers of being primarily concerned with keeping down heath care costs and neglecting the needs of the employees, the Mid-American Regional Bargaining Association accused union members of demanding too much in a weak economy.