Bricklaying Impasse by Go to Mediation

STL Today
June 19, 2011

As the strikes between the St. Louis Bricklayer union and local building contractors near the fourth week mark, the parties plan to ask a federal mediator to help resolve the impasse if it continues. The bricklayers blame the stalemate on the contractors who have used the economic downturn to “loosen the unions’ grip on local construction projects.”

Business Manager Down Brown said, “It’s a tactic that hasn’t been tried here before. They’re trying to get members to resign from the union. It’s telling guys, ‘You can scab on your own union.’” A spokesperson for the contractors recognize that “We choose to be union contractors [but they] choose to be union bricklayers.” If resolution isn’t reached, he notes that “if we don’t change the path we’ve been on, the marketplace will change it for us. It won’t be our choice anymore.”

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