A strike this week by heavy equipment operators is halting work on several public works projects in Evanston.

Talks between the operating engineers union and the association representing contractors aren’t scheduled to resume until Wednesday.

A strike this week by heavy equipment operators is halting work on several public works projects in Evanston.

Talks between the operating engineers union and the association representing contractors aren’t scheduled to resume until Wednesday.

Public Works Director Suzette Robinson says street work on Oakton Street and Dodge Avenue is being delayed by the strike. If the strike doesn’t end soon, Robinson says, it could make it impossible to finish those projects before school resumes in the fall.

Robinson says the city has enough cold patch asphalt on hand to do most routine road maintenance, but can’t get new supplies because asphalt and concrete plants have been shut by the walkout.

Utilities Director Dave Stoneback says water main projects on Dodge between Emerson and Davis as well as on Oakton between Hartrey and Dodge are being affected, but sewer lining work being done by the Metropolitan Water Resources District on Orrington Avenue is continuing because of a no-strike clause in that contract.

Parks and Forestry Superintendent Paul D’Agostino says the strike has also halted work on the $1.5 million project to repair the roof of the Civic Center.

Related story

Strikers want talks before Wednesday

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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7 Comments

  1. Break the unions!

    The state unemployment rate is more than 11 percent and these unions dare go on strike because they want an annual 15 percent increase in their healthcare package? These guys are making $35-$45 per hour with paid medical and pensions and they have the gall and audacity to strike? So much for Obama and the Democrats’ shovel ready stimulus money. I thought Obamacare gave preferential treatment of union healthcare plans? This might be the perfect time to break up the unions. I’m sure some of them would cross the picket line and there are many others out of work that have the skills to do the job. Then again, I won’t hold my breath because the co-mingling between unions and politicians (Democrats) is incestous.

  2. That is a start

    Yes, break up the Unions, and start to break down this experiment called Obama. 

    It is all interrelated and intertwined.

    It is all self servicing and does not represent the interest of the country as a whole.

    The act of legislating against the will of the country has to stop. 

    The act of blaming everyone else for our ills today has to stop.

    The act of legislating based on ideology are not addressing our country’s critical needs.

    We are worse today than we were in 2008.  Hope and change has NOT occured.

    Vote against Dems.  Get them out.  Reject them in November. 

  3. I bet these two who made

    I bet these two who made these comments do not even know how to use a shovel, or be able to stand 8 hours working under the sun. Stop blaming everything on Obama and be more proactive and understanding for those who really put up with abuse.

    1. You are right…

      I have never worked 8 hours under the sun.  You have.

      I have actually worked 10 hours under the sun.  You haven’t because you won’t.

      I have used a shovel, paint brush, hammer, Skilsaw, broom, lawnmower, dishwasher, cash register and drill gun to pay for college, on my own.  And probably at a lower hourly wage than Unions get.

      Today I use a keyboard and my brain.

       

  4. Politically incorrect language

     Oh, my.  Two citizens from the People’s Republic of Evanston have dared criticize unions.  Those persons must be dangerous right-wing extremists, possibly terrorists. 

    /sarc

  5. Construction and other Stimulus Spending

    Paul Krugman and some others say we need more stimulus spending.  

    One of the areas that supposedly are good stimulus spending is infra-structure.

    The construction strike has showed a major flaw—those making very large wages will want the stimulus to go to their paychecks and don’t care about the projects, downstream spending or others put out of work by their strike.

    Government believes in ‘shotgun’ spending instead of using a rifle.  They don’t know how to spend productively so they just toss out money instead of target it carefully to areas that really work.  This not only applies to construction and other ‘stimulus’ but welfare [including
    Social Secuity and Unemployment Compensation]—instead of helping those really in need, they just toss it out to everyone whether they have a need or not–and make it appealing not to work.

    Maybe we could use more stimulus spending but I doubt the government will do it wisely.  Remember the applicance rebates, car rebates, housing insentives ?   They push up the date of  purchases [for those who need and don’t need] but the purchases drop drastically afterward and put us back [or below] where we were and make it look like the economy has gone into another slump.

  6. Ahhh Unions

    Those crazy Unions are always causing trouble.  

    It began with organizing, then it was collective bargaining, then it was a 5 day work week, then it was an 8 hour workday, then it was wages, pensions and healthcare and now it’s 2 dollars more an hour to build roads we don’t need with tax dollars we don’t have, so we can drive more(on the weekends and after work!) and cause more global warming.  Unions need to be stopped now or our planet will be destroyed.   

    Al is right.  The co-mingling of Unions and politicians is incestuous-  And NO ONE likes incest- let alone audacity and gall.  We need to restrict politicians to only co-mingle with normal, HUMBLE and HONEST organizations like multi-national energy companies (Exxon, BP, Massey Energy, Excelon, Harken), Haliburton, the National Rifle Association, News Corp, Lockheed Martin, Boeing, Monsanto,  Archer Daniels Midland, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Goldman Sachs, General Motors, Chase Bank, Bank of America, AIG, Countrywide, Enron/Arthur Anderson(gone but not forgotten), The Royal Family of Saudi Arabia and the People’s Republic of China.  The sooner the Subjects- I mean- Citizens of this Nation realizes who it’s friends are (and who is in charge) the better off we all will be.

    This Happy 4th of July message is brought to you by Google!

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