Local 20 of the International Union of Operating Engineers, AFL-CIO, has served notice upon the Hamilton County Board of Commissioners of its intent to go on strike Sunday, August 22, 2021 beginning at 12:01 a.m. Picketing will occur both at the Hamilton County Courthouse located at 1000 Main Street, and the Todd B. Portune Center for County Government located at 138 East Court Street.
The bargaining unit is composed of 18 members working as Facilities Maintenance Workers and HVAC Technicians at several County facilities, including the Courthouse, the County Administration Building, the Justice Center, the Hamilton County Coroner’s Office, the Juvenile Detention Center, and the Hamilton County Jobs and Family Services Building. Their work is critical to the operation and maintenance of those facilities, including maintaining air quality which is particularly important during the ongoing pandemic.
The parties have failed to reach agreement upon the key issues of wages. IUOE Local 20 Business Manager Rick Gerrein explains: “Although delayed by the Covid-19 pandemic, negotiations for this labor agreement began as long ago as December of 2019, but we have yet to reach an agreement. Local 20 is simply attempting to bring our wages into parity with comparable Cincinnati employers including the University of Cincinnati, and the Cincinnati Public Schools. We regret that the County Commissioners’ unreasonable position has forced us to prepare to take this action, but we feel we have no other alternative. Regardless, IUOE Local 20 stands ready, willing, and able to continue good faith negotiations with the County Commissioners with the goal of reaching a mutually acceptable labor agreement providing fair wages for our members.
IUOE Local 20 represents 23 separate bargaining units in the Greater Cincinnati area and a total membership of approximately 500. Employers include the Hamilton County Board of Commissioners, the University of Cincinnati Medical Center, the University of Cincinnati, the Cities of Fairfield and Hamilton, and the Southwest Regional Water District. Visit us on the web at iuoe20.org.