Members of Operating Engineers Local 150
members unaffected by the strike across Northern Indiana have dug deep to
support their roughly 2,500 striking brothers and sisters, Local 150 said
in a statement released after deadline on Wednesday.
Operating Engineers working for Imperial Crane and Superior Construction at
the BP refinery project in Whiting have collectively donated thousands of
dollars to help striking members cover costs like fuel.
Members working for Superior have collected upwards of $3,500 and on
learning of this donation, members working at Imperial have set their sights
even higher, hoping to raise even more, Local 150 said.
“A little friendly competition is always great to see, especially when it is
in support of our union brothers,” Local 150 Financial Secretary David Fagan
said. “There is always a certain competitiveness among our members to see
who can better support a good cause. Many of our members have made similar
donations to our food bank to support struggling families.”
Fagan says that gas money is one of the biggest expenses for members manning
picket lines. “Some members are driving 60 miles to the picket line and
back, costing them about $25 a day on gas alone.”
Local 150 began the strike on June 9. At issue, Local 150 has said: the
inflationary pressure on healthcare costs.
The Four County Highway Contractors Group—representing heavy highway
employers—has said in response that less than half of the total
economic-package increase demanded by Local 150 would go to healthcare.
“With the employers unwilling to come to the bargaining table, the strike
has no immediate end in sight,” Local 150 said. “Striking members are still
waking up early every morning and heading out to the picket lines, and with
an uncertain road ahead of them, these members take comfort in knowing that
they have the support of their union brothers and sisters behind them.”
The International Union of Operating Engineers, Local 150 is a labor union
representing more than 23,000 working men and women in Indiana, Illinois and
Local 150 represents workers in various industries, including construction,
construction material production, concrete pumping, steel mill service, slag
production, public works and others.