Strike avoided on Ohio Turnpike

| 2/9/2005

A possible strike that could have taken nearly 1,000 workers off the job on the Ohio Turnpike has been avoided.

The Turnpike Commission announced Feb. 9 that workers represented by Teamsters Local 436 – including toll takers and maintenance workers – had voted to accept a tentative agreement proposed by the commission.

The commission is scheduled to vote on the agreement at its next meeting, which is planned for Feb. 22.

“We anticipate the commission will vote to accept this agreement at its Feb. 22 meeting,” Turnpike Executive Director Gary C. Suhadolnik said in a release. “We were able to reach a fair contract that is satisfactory to both parties.”

The contract between the commission and the 997 turnpike workers expired Dec. 31, 2004. However, the two parties later extended the agreement to Jan. 17.

Turnpike officials had warned of a possible strike late in 2004. But the prospect became much more real in January when union workers voted overwhelmingly to reject a fact finder’s report that would have prevented a strike.