Sound Transit welcomes end to concrete strike
SEATTLE, Wash., April 10, 2022 – Sound Transit welcomed news on April 8th that the concrete delivery strike impacting projects across King and Snohomish counties will come to an end following the Teamsters Local 174’s unconditional offer to return to work while negotiations continue.
“This is great news for resuming work on the largest transit expansion program in the nation,” said Sound Transit CEO Peter Rogoff. “We thank the Teamsters for this action, and we urge the parties to work collaboratively on a long-term agreement that avoids risks of further disruptions. With months of backlogged concrete deliveries across the region, we all must now work together to dig ourselves out of a deep hole.”
With backlogged demand expected to continue impacting deliveries, Sound Transit will continue to assess schedule impacts that the months of project delays, combined with COVID-19 and other impacts, will have on the opening dates of major light rail extensions.
“For months, the concrete companies have used their control over Seattle’s concrete industry to drag out negotiations, and it has been devastating for our community and for our sisters and brothers in the Building Trades,” said Teamsters Local 174 Secretary-Treasurer, Rick Hicks. “Our members love our community and are returning to work for the people of Seattle. We hope this very gracious offer means that the greedy concrete companies start negotiating in good faith and stop stonewalling negotiations, as they have for months. Teamsters are tough and returning to work will not keep us from continuing the fight to protect our community, the other Building Trades’ unions and good jobs in Seattle.”
The strike has impacted four major light rail extensions in King and Snohomish counties that under original schedules were expected to add 34 miles to the regional light rail system by the end of 2024. The four projects include the 14-mile extension of Link to Mercer Island, Bellevue and Redmond’s Overlake area; the 8.5-mile extension to Shoreline, Mountlake Terrace and Lynnwood; the 7.8-mile extension to Kent and Federal Way; and the 3.4-mile extension to downtown Redmond. Sound Transit will do its best to minimize the degree to which the strike and other factors will delay the openings.
“While we cannot erase these delays, we will work to minimize their impact to the greatest degree possible and get these transformative projects open for service to our residents,” said Sound Transit Executive Director of Design, Engineering and Construction Management Ron Lewis.
Avoiding any future disruptions to concrete deliveries is critical. To date, the strike has resulted in more than 4,300 missed deliveries. If all those trucks were lined up bumper-to-bumper, they would stretch almost 29 miles, about the distance from Lynnwood to SeaTac Airport. Inability to move projects forward also caused Sound Transit contractors to lay off approximately 200 people.