Thursday, August 4, 2011

Ground Zero construction strike called off by concrete workers union

World Trade Center concrete workers called off a union strike Wednesday.
BY Brian Kates

Striking concrete workers agreed last night to go back to work at the World Trade Center after a two-day walkout, sources told the Daily News.

The deal restarts work stalled at the Freedom Tower and World Trade Center transit hub after the Cement and Concrete Workers District Council walked off the job Monday in a dispute over wages and the use of nonunion labor.

The union agreed to return to work this morning under the conditions of a contract that expired June 30 and to extend contract talks until Aug. 16, the sources said.

Industry analysts had feared if the strike continued it could bring work to a halt at the Trade Center and result in the layoff of more than 1,000 workers.

The strike did not affect the 9/11 Memorial, which is on target to open on the 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks.

The 2,700-member union also walked off several other high-profile construction projects on Monday, but they returned to work yesterday after an independent arbitrator ruled they were violating no-strike provisions in their labor agreements.

Alex Castaldi, business manager of the 2,700-member Cement and Concrete Workers District Council, declined comment.



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