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Graniterock Strike Resolved

The labor action impacted company sites near Watsonville, Gilroy and Redwood City, halting work for three days.

A labor strike at Watsonville-based Graniterock that brought work to a grinding halt Sunday was resolved late Tuesday, company spokesman Keith Severson reported.

The strike involved 75-100 employees in Operating Engineers Local Union No. 3, one of 5 labor unions at Graniterock, Severson said.

“It’s unfortunate," Severson said of the strike. "It's a busy time of year."

Severson said he didn't know what spurred the strike, but Operating Engineers Local Union No. 3’s Ken Edgecombe told SanJoseInside.com that the union hasn't has a contract in over a year.

The union decided Friday to push Graniterock to negotiate. The strike came when the company refused to meet with labor leaders, Pete Figueiredo of Operating Engineers Local Union No. 3 told SanJoseInside.com. Figueiredo went on to say the union had eight agreements with Graniterock and some had expired.

"The relationship with labor and Graniterock is decades old," Severson said. "These issues are sometimes longstanding and it’s really nice that they are resolved and we can all get back to business and usual.”

Negotiations were completed around 10:30 p.m. Tuesday, Severson said. Employees were back to work Wednesday.

The Operating Engineers work at several sites in Northern California. Severson said the strike affected the Aromas quarry outside of Watsonville and Gilroy, as well as locations near Hollister, in Redwood City and in San Jose.

However, SanJoseInside.com reported the labor action was even larger as "picketers descended upon the company’s recycling plant at Monterey Highway and Capitol Expressway, at the sand and gravel facility in Hollister and at Graniterock operations in San Jose’s Berryessa district, Redwood City and South San Francisco" in addition to the A.R. Wilson Quarry in Aromas.

Graniterock supplies paving materials to many municipalities. Earlier this month its subsidiary Pavex was awarded a $35.9 million contract with the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority to make improvements to the Hwy. 101 interchanges at Yerba Buena Road and Capitol Expressway, the Silicon Valley/San Jose Business Journal reported. The company also was the contractor for the Mineta San Jose International Airport taxiway extension, after the airport received $7.49 million from the Federal Aviation Administration.

A 2004 strike involving Graniterock concrete ready-mix drivers represented by Teamsters Local 287 went all the way to the U.S. Surpreme Court before the lawsuit was resolved in 2008.

Graniterock is lead by President and CEO Tom Squeri, the former vice president and general counsel who succeeded longtime company head Bruce Woolpert earlier this summer. 

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