McCOOK, Ill. — Some 300 members of International Union of Operating Engineers Local 150 went on strike June 7 against three Chicago-area quarry companies — Lehigh Hanson, Vulcan Materials and Lafarge Holcim — over unfair labor practices. The local has 23,000 members in Indiana, Illinois, and Iowa.
The companies produce aggregate materials, including sand, gravel and crushed stone that are essential to the production of asphalt, concrete and other construction materials, as well as mine rock for road construction.
“We are gaining support from other unions. The Teamsters refuse to cross our picket lines,” Ed Maher, communications director for the local, told this Militant worker-correspondent. “Paving companies are laying off workers and shutting down due to lack of materials. Teamster members at the paving companies have said they support the strike.
“The companies have unilaterally changed rules and conditions, including how to get time off for COVID,” he said. “And they threatened to fire any worker who went on strike.”
The Chicago Area Aggregate Producers Association is negotiating on behalf of the companies. The last strike here was in 1967.
All told, picket lines are up at approximately 35 quarries, mines and other facilities.
Messages of support should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org or mailed to IUOE Local 150, 6200 Joliet Road, Countryside, IL 60525