Construction crews work on the Lynnwood Light rail station March 29. (Olivia Vanni / Herald file)

Construction crews work on the Lynnwood Light rail station March 29. (Olivia Vanni / Herald file)

Concrete walkout ends; Lynnwood light rail impact may linger

While drivers were picketing, Sound Transit’s project between Northgate and Lynnwood missed an estimated 4,900 deliveries.

MOUNTLAKE TERRACE — Concrete deliveries again are en route across Puget Sound construction sites after a four-month union strike ended last week.

Teamsters Local 174 drivers announced Friday they would return to work with hopes of “good faith” negotiating by concrete supplier companies.

“There’s too much pain and too much damage,” said Mike Walker, a Teamsters Local 174 business agent and driver for 26 years. “We just couldn’t let this go on.”

Teamsters Local 174 Secretary-Treasurer Rick Hicks in a statement said the return to work was about helping people in the region.

“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,” he said.

About 300 union members, who drive concrete mix and dump trucks or work in support jobs, went on strike in December. They picketed six sites in King County, seeking better pay and health and retirement benefits. Walker said health benefits for retirees is the most important issue.

“It was never about money,” he said.

Representatives from the suppliers and union last met in February.

The union’s ranks are lower now after some members left for other jobs, quit or retired.

After some of the companies called back workers this week, Walker said, about 80 were now on the job.The union has said the original walkout involved about 330 workers.

“We’re going to keep bargaining,” Walker said. “They’ve got all these guys back at work now, but we’re not happy.”

The strike delayed an estimated 4,900 concrete deliveries at Sound Transit projects, according to a March 30 update. That’s enough to line concrete dump and mix trucks on I-5 from Lynnwood to SeaTac.

Most of those missed deliveries were for the 8½-mile Lynnwood Link extension project from Northgate in Seattle to the Lynnwood Transit Center.

The union offered to return to work in mid-March at two plants for some public works projects, including Sound Transit and the West Seattle Bridge.

In a statement, Sound Transit CEO Peter Rogoff thanked the Teamsters for returning to work. The agency’s staff were evaluating how the delays might affect schedules for light rail projects originally slated to open in 2024.

“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 Ron Lewis, Sound Transit executive director of design, engineering and construction management.

Ben Watanabe: bwatanabe@heraldnet.com; 425-339-3037; Twitter @benwatanabe.

Talk to us

More in Local News

Mike Rosen
Businessman Mike Rosen announces campaign for mayor of Edmonds

Rosen, a city planning board member, is backed by five former Edmonds mayors. It’s unclear if incumbent Mike Nelson will run again.

FILE - A Boeing 747-8, Boeing's new passenger plane, takes its first flight, Sunday, March 20, 2011, at Paine Field in Everett, Wash. After more than half a century, Boeing is rolling its last 747 out of a Washington state factory on Tuesday night. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren, File)
Boeing’s last 747 to roll off the Everett assembly line

The Queen of the Skies was dethroned by smaller, more fuel-efficient jets. The last 747s were built for a cargo carrier.

PUD workers install new transformers along 132nd Street on Tuesday, Oct. 25, 2022 in Mill Creek, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Electric vehicles spur big forecast jump for PUD demand

Not long ago, the Snohomish County PUD projected 50,000 electric cars registered in the county by 2040. Now it expects up to 660,000.

Traffic moves northbound on I-5 through Everett on Friday, Dec. 2, 2022. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Grinding work still needed for I-5 through Everett

Construction crews need warmer temps for the work to remove what a reader described as “mini raised speed bumps.”

After a day of learning to fight fires, Snohomish firefighter recruit Chau Nguyen flakes a hose as other recruits load the hoses onto a fire truck April 19, 2018, at the training facility on S. Machias Rd. in Snohomish. (Andy Bronson / Herald file)
Lawsuit: Everett firefighter sexually harassed numerous recruits

Chau Nguyen resigned earlier this year, long after the first complaint about his behavior at the county’s fire training academy.

NO CAPTION. Logo to accompany news of education.
Stanwood-Camano School Board seeks applicants for vacancy

Ken Christoferson, the district’s longest serving board member, resigned on Dec. 6.

The final 747 is rolled out of the factory on Tuesday, Dec. 6, 2022 in Everett, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Final 747 rollout signals end of an era for Boeing, Everett

After a 55-year run, the last of the “Queen of the Skies” emerged from the Everett assembly plant Tuesday evening.

Pilchuck Secret Valley Tree Farm owner Paul Dierck walks through a row of trees on Monday, Dec. 5, 2022 in Arlington, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Christmas trees, a Washington cash crop, get a little more spendy

Christmas tree farms generate about $688,000 each season for Snohomish County farmers. Some are still open for business.

Marysville
Marysville to pay $1M to another former student for alleged sex abuse

The latest settlement marks the earliest known allegations against Kurt Hollstein, who worked in the district until last year.

Most Read