MERRILLVILLE | The International Union of Operating Engineers Local 150 is now officially on strike against Superior Construction Co. Inc. at several of its job sites, confirmed David Fagan, financial secretary for Local 150, on Thursday.
Superior Construction is a member of the Four County Highway Contractors Group. The union’s contract with that group expired on April 30, Fagan said.
Recent negotiation meetings with the contractors group and the Northwest Indiana Contractors Association have not produced an agreement on wages and benefits, he said. The agreement with the NICA expires Sunday.
However, the union did ink agreements on wages and benefits with the Northwest Indiana Independent Building Group on May 23 and the Northern Indiana Independent Contractors Group on May 27. These two groups represent employers in the building and highway industries.
Employers signed to these independent agreements would be able to continue working if any job action or work stoppage were to occur on the expiring agreements, Fagan said.
“Many employers who understand that and find our terms to be reasonable have already signed with the independent agreements. We expect to see many more employers sign in the coming days,” he said.
Superior Construction declined to comment on negotiations or the strike.
The International Union of Operating Engineers Local 150 is a labor union representing more than 23,000 working men and women in Indiana, Illinois and Iowa. Local 150 represents workers in various industries, including construction, construction material production, concrete pumping, steel mill service, slag production, public works and others.
A 2011 strike between Local 150 and the highway and building employer associations shut down much of Northwest Indiana’s construction work for more than two weeks.