Drivers lead strike at local ready-mix concrete business

Friday, May 17, 2002

Fifteen drivers with McDonald Concrete Ready-Mix are on strike because they say their boss wants to cut salary, benefits and increase the amount they pay for insurance.

"We don't feel we ought to do it," said Junior Bartels, a mixer driver and shop steward for McDonald Concrete at 54 N. Broadview in Cape Girardeau. "It's not right." Bartels says the 55-year-old company, which is owned by Clyde McDonald, is asking the 13 drivers and two mechanics who are members of the Teamsters union to take a 60-cent-an-hour pay cut as well as take cuts to vacation time and other benefits.

The workers are striking in shifts of three or four at a time, and they began Wednesday morning. Bartels says it's having an effect.

"The company's shut down," he said.

McDonald referred all questions to his lawyer, Mike Payne, who did not return phone calls Thursday.

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