Following nine hours of negotiations on July 19, Chicago contractors and unions reached a tentative three-year agreement on wages and health-care benefits to end a three-week strike. The International Union of Operating Engineers Local 150 and Chicago-area Laborers’ District Council reached a settlement with owners’ representative Mid-America Regional Bargaining Association (MARBA) that includes a 3.25% annual wage increase and health-care benefits for three years. The unions originally sought annual increases of 5.3% for three years. A Local 150 press release said the pact means pickets would be “taken down immediately.” “It was a difficult negotiation with good results,” Lissa Christman,
The market is generally healthy and steadily growing, and margins are up for large specialty contractors. Further, advances in design tools and owner demand for collaboration are giving subcontractors a seat at the table early on in projects.