Share this article

print logo


The International Union of Operating Engineers Local 17 lost an election to represent workers at United Materials LLC on Friday, dealing a setback to its organizing drive in the concrete industry.

Workers at the paving company's location in Lancaster voted 15 to 4 against joining the union in a National Labor Relations Board election.

The vote is the second defeat in two weeks for the union, whose Niagara County unit, Local 463, lost an election to represent United Materials workers in Sanborn on Sept. 16.

"We're not giving up, we're going to keep on pushing it," said Mark N. Kirsch, president of Local 17.

The union, representing about 1,500 construction equipment operators and mechanics, is one of the largest in Western New York.

The organizing losses weaken the union's hand in negotiations at a third United Materials site, in Orchard Park, where workers are without a contract since joining the union last year.

"It will be a little harder to get an agreement," Kirsch said. "But as long as they're still bargaining in good faith, we'll be there."

Membership at the Orchard Park location remains strongly behind the Operating Engineers, organizer Jerry Franz said.

Company owner Richard Holmes was unavailable for comment.

There are no comments - be the first to comment