Teamsters Local 142 members go on strike

2010-06-08T09:30:00Z Teamsters Local 142 members go on strikeBy Lauri Harvey Keagle lauri.keagle@nwi.com, (219) 852-4311 nwitimes.com

Some 300 members of the Teamsters Local 142 are on strike this morning following a Monday night vote.

Members on the picket lines Tuesday morning said the vote came down to 283 in favor of the strike and 34 against it.

The strike is expected to impact a number of road construction projects in the region, including those on Interstate 65, the Indiana Toll Road, Broad Street in Griffith and a host of other road paving projects in local cities and towns.

"The benefits are going up and they want it to come out of our pockets," said Dave Kucko, 45, of Gary, a 20-year Teamster picketing outside of Grimmer Construction in Highland.

Members also said some companies are asking them to accept only 80 percent of their normal pay for jobs.

"There was some progress made on this last proposal, but it wasn't enough to prevent the strike, " said Mike Turner, 45, of Merrillville, a 13-year Teamster.

Wally Choate, 69, of Griffith, has been a union member for more than 30 years.

"It's a lot better than it was in the 70's, but there are still issues that need to be addressed," Choate said.

Members on Tuesday were picketing at a host of other construction companies in the region as well.

Mitch Sawochka, president of Teamsters Local 142, could not be reached for comment early Tuesday.

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