IUOE 150 Strike
The ongoing pit and quarry strike by the International Union of Operating Engineers 150 (IUOE 150) against the Chicago Area Aggregate Producers Association (CAAPA) members is negatively impacting the ability for Chicago area contractors to complete highway infrastructure projects. The heavy highway contractors are shutting down projects at an accelerated rate due to the unavailability approved aggregates.
Alternate aggregate material, while available:
- is in short supply;
- may not be certified by the Illinois Department of Transportation;
- would need to be evaluated by developing time consuming and costly new mix designs; and/or,
- would require longer haul distances impacting costs and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.
Furthermore, the months of July, August, and September provide some of the driest and warmest days during the construction season which suits highway construction. Once the strike is settled, every contractor impacted will need to replenish stockpiles which will place further strain on the trucking industry that is already in short supply in the construction market. In addition, thousands of employees both on the jobsite and in support roles not on strike are no longer working because of the projects already shutdown. With low unemployment and high competition for workers, these employees may not wait for projects to reopen.
The longer the strike continues; the greater its impact on this year’s construction season. If the strike endures much longer, projects will not be completed by the end of the construction season. It is incumbent upon both parties to remain committed to reaching a timely resolution to the strike through good faith bargaining.