Crane operators and other members of Local 542 of the International Union of Operating Engineers are expected to vote on a new contract Friday evening. They had been out on strike from June 27 through June 30, slowing construction at least 30 sites in the city and the Pennsylvania suburbs.
Both sides, the union and the General Building Contractors Association, said they would issue a statement following the vote, either Friday evening or Saturday.
The operating engineers did not put up picket lines or ask other unions to stay off construction sites. As a practical matter, however, construction at many sites around the region, including the new Comcast tower and several university projects, slowed because union members operate construction elevators as well as equipment that hoists heavy materials.
On June 30, the union held a protest at the new Comcast tower that shut down construction, as other building-trade unions declined to enter the job site.
That morning walkout was followed by hours of talks in the afternoon, when enough of an agreement was reached to enable some union members to begin returning to work as early as July 1. It took the rest of the next week to hammer out an agreement for what will be a three-year pact with a $2-an-hour raise each year.
The union’s contract had expired April 30. Issues included the duties of oilers, overtime pay, and how the General Building Contractors Association would collect its dues.