Several hundred striking Teamster truckers began picketing major construction sites Monday, shutting down work on schools, offices, bridges, stores, housing, parking lots and garages around the St. Louis area, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
Teamsters Local 682 members who drive concrete trucks have been on strike since June 27 against the owners over wages. The Teamsters want an hourly raise of $1.05 a year for five years. The Material Dealers Association, which represents 15 big concrete companies, offered 90 cents, but ended up rescinding the offer.
On Sunday, the Teamsters announced the picketing in hopes that members of other construction unions will honor the picket lines, shutting construction down.
According to the Post-Dispatch, the contractors set up a "dual gate" system at major construction jobs in St. Louis and St. Louis County. Under that system, concrete trucks use one gate and all other construction workers enter through a second gate. Teamsters can picket the gate they would use and cannot picket the other. Through the second gate, workers in other unions can continue to enter and work at job sites where they otherwise might honor picket lines.
The Post-Dispatch reported that with nearly $1 billion in construction projects being held up because of the protesting, civic leaders are afraid that St. Louis will become known as a "tough town" to do business in, making the strike extremely costly in the long run.