Seattle-area concrete-mixer drivers reached a deal with their companies over the weekend, finally ending a series of negotiations that led to a monthslong strike and slowed construction across the region earlier this year.

The drivers, represented by Teamsters Local 174, approved a deal covering 225 workers. The deal includes changes to medical coverage, pensions and “work rules that will solve workplace issues,” the union said. 

The union and the employers both declined to share details of the agreement.

“In the end, we got significantly more than [what the employers] ever wanted to give,” Teamsters Local 174 Secretary-Treasurer Rick Hicks said in a statement.

The concrete companies said in a joint statement they were “pleased” to have reached a deal. “The final agreement provides our drivers a four-year contract with an exceptional package of wages and benefits, and we are happy to bring the issue to a close,” the statement said. 

The drawn-out negotiations hit the region’s construction industry starting late last year.

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A small group of Teamsters 174 members walked off the job in November and more followed in December, accusing their employers of unfair labor practices. The strike slowed work on high-profile projects including the downtown Seattle Washington State Convention Center expansion. 

But concrete companies soon brought in nonunion replacement drivers, and the work stoppage led to layoffs across other construction trades. In early April, even as they still hadn’t reached a deal with their employers, the drivers said they would go back to work.

Since then, negotiations between the two sides have continued, with involvement from federal mediators. In August, drivers rejected a proposal from the companies 170-1.

A key issue in the disagreement was health care coverage for retirees. Drivers pushed to lower costs for drivers who retire before they are 65 and access a retiree health care plan until they become eligible for Medicare. In the end, the union failed to secure improvements to that plan.

That made the mood around the deal “a little somber,” said Brett Gallagher, a mixer driver and member of the bargaining committee.

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Throughout negotiations, the union said it offered to cover the cost of the improved policy, but the companies still refused. Through a spokesperson, the companies declined to comment.

“We got more pension contributions and more in wages because of that,” Gallagher said. 

“They don’t care about the guys that have given decades to the companies,” Gallagher said. “In that respect, it’s very disappointing. We got just about everything else we wanted.”

Drivers approved the agreement with 77% of the vote, according to the union.