A local roofers union and a group of local contractors have reached a tentative contract agreement to resolve a strike that began June 1.
The Merrillville-based United Union of Roofers, Waterproofers and Allied Workers Local 26 and the Northwest Indiana Roofing Contractors Association reached the agreement July 19 and strikes were halted the next day.
Don Schwartz, partner at Chicago-based law firm Arnold & Kadjan, said the union is expected to hold a contract ratification vote on Aug. 6.*
Schwartz declined to address compensation provisions in the contract. A second major sticking point in contract talks was language on union dues collection and how it would be handled since Indiana became a right-to-work state.
Companies signatory to the agreement will continue to collect dues on behalf of the union, but additional language also was added at the request of companies to help reduce their liability in a collection dispute.
"We tried to make it more of an employee-union issue to absolve the employers' involvement," Schwartz said. "We're trying to minimize their potential involvement and liability."
Roofers Local 26 has more than 300 members.
In a brief statement, Russell Gluth, of Gluth Brothers Roofing, said, "I am glad to say we are back to work."
* Editor's note: This story has been updated from a previous version.
Labor contract term correction: A business story in Thursday's paper contained incorrect information about the contract agreement between the Northwest Indiana Roofing Contractors Association and the United Union of United Union of Roofers, Waterproofers and Allied Workers Local 26. The contract did not contain a clause regarding the agreement being retroactive to June 1. The Times regrets the error.