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Deal Ends Construction Strike That Shut Down World Trade Center

Thu July 13, 2006 - Northeast Edition
CEG



NEW YORK (AP) Workers who operate cranes and heavy equipment at the World Trade Center and 1,000 other city construction sites agreed to end a weeklong strike, the mayor’s office said.

"This is a good deal for labor, a good deal for management, and a good deal for New York," Mayor Michael Bloomberg said in a statement. "I’m glad that the City of New York was able to facilitate the two sides restarting their talks and working out their differences."

The deal was reached July 7 between the General Contractors Association, individual contractors and representatives of the 3,200-member International Union of Operating Engineers.

Negotiators met at the mayor’s mansion, Gracie Mansion, at his invitation.

As laid out earlier in the week, the new agreement would give people who operate backhoes, drilling rigs, cranes and compressors a 5.25 percent raise for each of the next four years, and require workers to be available for mechanical work while increasing their responsibilities for manning heavy equipment.

Neither officials of the contractors association nor union representatives immediately returned messages or answered their telephones on Saturday.

Union workers who had walked off the job included employees of companies building the Freedom Tower skyscraper and a transit hub at the World Trade Center site leveled after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. Other projects affected by the walkout, which began July 1, were the replacement of a major city water tunnel and the building of a $2 billion Goldman Sachs Group Inc. headquarters.