PORTAGE | For the last month, striking workers have crowded around burn barrels in subzero temperatures and blizzard-like conditions outside a steel service center.
It has been more than a week since members of a Merrillville-based union went on strike following an impasse in contract negotiations with local contractors.
Members of the International Union of Operating Engineers Local 150 ratified a two-year agreement Thursday with the Indiana Constructors Association.
Activity was limited at local construction sites Wednesday following the late Tuesday night resolution of the operating engineers strike.
Tentative agreements were reached Tuesday on expired contracts with the International Union of Operating Engineers Local 150 and three contractors groups.
After Wednesday's negotiating session, there still is not a deal between a labor union and three Northern Indiana contractors groups.
Contractor groups and the local operating engineers union are not close to resolving disputes that prompted a work stoppage, and one side is warning the impasse could give Republicans leverage to make Indiana a right-to-work state.
In what is normally the busiest time of the construction season, many region job sites are void of work crews or have reduced activity because of the local operating engineers strike.
A union representing Northwest Indiana operating engineers is expanding its strike to include local asphalt plants, following stalled contract negotiations with contractors groups.
International Union of Operating Engineers Local 150 members went on strike Thursday against a group of employers working on building projects in Northwest Indiana.
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