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Laborers’ strike halts work at dozens of Quad City construction sites

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A strike has shut down work at nearly 40 construction sites around the Quad Cities.

Nearly 300 members of Laborer's Local 309 have been on strike since Monday, May 23, 2016. The strike has slowed or stopped work on dozens of projects, including Davenport Central High School's pool and auditorium, the Moline Chick-fil-A, and a QC Mart in Bettendorf.

This is the first time that members of Laborer's Local 309 have gone on strike since 1987.

"A lot of people think, 'Oh, just go to work.' They wanna go to work. We wanna come to a contract," said Jeff Deppe, secretary and treasurer of Laborer's Local 309. "They're not drawing unemployment, and they do wanna go to work. It's a hardship for them."

Members of Laborer's Local 309 have been without a contract since April 30th. Talks have stalled between the union and the Associated General Contractors of the Quad Cities, which represents about 70 construction companies.

Steve Tondi, president and CEO of the AGC/QC, said the sticking point is wages. He calls the strike a 'no-win situation.'

"Ultimately, if a guy gets a raise, he might get a nickel more than he would have before he went on strike, but you never work long enough to make up what you lost," said Tondi.

The two sides have met four times so far, and representatives from both say they're willing to come to the table. In the meantime, though, Quad City work sites are quiet.

Tondi said it's too early to assess the impact of the strike on area projects.

"Certainly one thing that we can all agree on is it's bad for the industry. It doesn't make us look good under any circumstances," said Tondi.

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