A labor dispute between the Smithtown Truckers Company of Local 282 Teamsters and Smithtown Concrete has forced union workers to picket.
The contract between Smithtown Concrete and the union expired July 1. An unnamed union official said Neal Spevack, president of Smithtown Concrete, is asking to cut the salaries of the union employees by 40 percent.
“The contract expired and the company won’t renew it … He claims business is slow, he’s looking for 40 percent wage cuts, which is unheard of,” said a Local 282 Teamsters official, who spoke under the condition of anonymity.
Spevack said Smithtown Concrete has given union employees raises every year, but when asked to make similar concessions that his other employees have made, the union declined.
“There’s a recession going on, yours truly is not even getting paid, every single person in this company is making concessions … they didn’t want to make concessions,” Spevack said.
Spevack said Smithtown Concrete has seen a “major economic downturn” and business is as slow as he’s seen.
“We’re so slow that we can barely afford people’s salaries, let alone benefits. It’s a very, very slow time; the economics is very poor, so it’s very, very difficult. And I’m not asking any more of them than I am asking of myself,” he said.
The unnamed union official said the union understood the slowdown of the business and was willing to make concessions during contract negotiations.
“We offered all our proposals at the bargaining table, we were very … sympathetic to his plight, we did offer concessions and changes but he totally doesn’t want to go that way,” the unnamed union official said.
According to union officials, the contract negotiations have stopped and the picket line will continue until an agreement is met.