IDOT chief says strike halting projects, threatens aggregate companies with suspending contract awards, changing mix designs

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* Vulcan Materials Co. is one of the three gravel and aggregate companies hit by the Local 150 strike

June 30, 2022

Mr. Chad Groff
Vice President/General Manager Vulcan Materials Company

Dear Mr. Groff:

The ongoing strike has brought many of our projects to a halt, with more projects shutting down by the day. This strike has already negatively impacted several significant improvement projects, including the Jane Byrne Interchange reconstruction in the heart of Chicago and of our entire expressway system, the Interstate 55 and Weber Road interchange, the Interstate 80 bridge in Joliet as well as numerous resurfacing projects throughout northeast Illinois and Chicago.

The timing of the work stoppage could not occur at a worse time, at the height of construction season and during peak driving season with an eager public ready to travel after two years of a pandemic.

With these stoppages, the strike puts in jeopardy the state’s ability to deliver on the governor’s promise to modernize infrastructure, make capital and community investments and create jobs through Rebuild Illinois, the largest capital program in our state’s history and the first in nearly a decade. Additionally, the passage of the federal Infrastructure Investment & Jobs Act late last year has Illinois poised to increase these investments to our transportation system and in our communities.

At this time, the Illinois Department of Transportation has no choice but to act in the best interests of the state and our taxpayers. This includes the possibilities of suspending awards from the June letting and revisiting whether to go forward with the upcoming July letting. It should be noted that the department reserves the right to explore using alternative mix designs to ensure the continuity of our projects. The department will not bear any responsibility or cost for increased expenses experienced because of the strike.

The workers of IUOE Local 150 have played a critical role in revitalizing our state’s infrastructure, stepping up to continue working on our job sites as essential workers throughout the pandemic. With the best interests of the state in mind, we call on management to bargain in good faith and offer the wages and protections the workers deserve. We urge the parties to come to a fair resolution without delay.

Sincerely,
Omer M. Osman, P.E.
Secretary

I’ve asked the Chicago Area Aggregate Producers Association for a response.

Feeds,Region: Statewide,Politics

via Capitol Fax.com – Your Illinois News Radar http://capitolfax.com

June 30, 2022 at 03:13PM

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