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Monday May 28th, 2012

Posted at 10:11am

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Amico Infrastructures removes heavy equipment from the Windsor Essex Parkway on Friday May 25th

Three hundred heavy construction equipment operators who work on projects across Windsor-Essex Chatham-Kent are on strike.

The operators who work primarily with backhoes, excavators, paving machines and bulldozers are represented by Local 793 of the International Union of Operating Engineers. The employees had been working without a contract since April 30th and the union was in a legal strike position on May 19th. Talks with the Heavy Construction Association of Windsor broke down on Thursday and operators spent Friday securing construction sites and removing heavy equipment.

The union says that the main issue in the strike is hours of work and overtime.

Both sides had agreed on almost everything for a new four-year contract, but a dispute arose when a request was made to extend the regular work week for operators doing sewer and watermain and general excavation from the current 50 hours before overtime is paid to 55 hours before overtime kicks in.

Local 793 of the International Union of Operating Engineers represents thousands of highly-skilled crane and heavy equipment operators across Ontario.

Projects shut down include planned reconstruction and streetscaping of Wyandotte Street West, much heavy construction activity on the W-E Parkway, the Provincial-Cabana intersection makeover and many construction projects on Windsor’s residential streets.

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