Laborers strike Savage manufacturing plant


More than 50 members of Construction & General Laborers Local 563 went on strike Monday at Fabcon, Inc., in Savage in response to management demands for a 30 percent cut in wages and “significant” increases in health care premiums, the union said. The workers had stayed on the job without a contract since the last pact expired Jan. 31.

“We had hoped that we could work toward a new agreement that would help the company in these difficult times, while at the same time maintaining the dignity of these workers and the integrity of the contract, but the company put us in a pretty impossible situation,” said Local 563 Business Manager Tim Mackey.

The workers at Fabcon are regularly scheduled to work long hours, including Saturdays and Sundays. The company’s proposal would eliminate the pay differentials for weekend work, the union said.

“It’s just part of the job that you work on the weekends at Fabcon, but now they don’t want to pay us for it,” said one striking worker. “That’s just not right.”

Many of the strikers have worked at Fabcon for decades and have told the company they wish to continue discussions toward a new contract and return to work as soon as possible.

Fabcon, Inc., has 13 locations nationwide, with the Minnesota plant being the largest in the Midwest, according to the company’s website. The workers in Savage manufacture precast concrete wall panels used in the construction of retail and other commercial buildings.

Construction & General Laborers Local 563 represents more than 5,000 workers in Minnesota and North Dakota working in highway and commercial building construction, public employment and construction product manufacturing