Thursday, May 14, 2015

April 23 Vote Ends Illinois Tollway Guarantee of Union Labor for Construction

By a vote of 6 to 3 the Illinois Toll Highway Authority’s board on April 23 decided against continuing its project labor agreement which has required construction contractors working on Tollway projects to use union labor exclusively, introducing the potential for strikes and other job actions which could delay progress on the Tollway’s completion of its 15 year, $12 billion reconstruction and widening program.

Tollway construction contracts awarded after May 1, 2015 will no longer be under the project labor agreement, in which construction trade unions have promised since 1994 not to strike or engage in slow-downs on Tollway projects. Besides the blow to the wallets of workers on Tollway projects, this policy change will most likely seriously inconvenience millions of Chicago area commuters who face a growing threat of ongoing traffic jams at locations where job actions could leave construction barricades and lane closures in place far longer than they could have remained if the project labor agreement had been renewed.
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