Hundreds of union workers walk off the job at World Trade Center, setting up possible strike

Workers Stage Walkout at World Trade Center Site

By Joseph De Avila, Andrew Grossman and Eliot Brown

Taylor Umlauf/The Wall Street Journal
A recent aerial view of the World Trade Center site.

Hundreds of unionized concrete workers walked off the job at the World Trade Center on Monday, setting up for a possible strike in the coming days.

The contract covering the workers expired on July 1. Since then, the concrete workers have been operating without a new contract.

Officials with the Cement and Concrete Workers District Council representing the concrete workers declined to comment. Officials with the Cement League, a contractors’ association that represents management, couldn’t be reached for comment Monday. However, a source familiar with the matter said the two parties are currently negotiating.

Without concrete workers, work cannot proceed on part of the World Trade Center’s transit hub, according to a person familiar with the matter. Other construction tradesmen continued work at the site on Monday, but a prolonged work stoppage could affect their work if they need concrete to proceed, according to that same person.

Concrete workers also stopped working at Tower 1, but other construction there will be able to continue for about a week or so, according to another person familiar with the matter.

Monday’s work stoppage by the concrete workers union will have “no impact on construction of the 9/11 Memorial, which remains on track to open on the tenth anniversary [of the attacks], and minimal impacts on the site’s other projects,” said Steve Coleman, a spokesman with the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.