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Maspeth cement truck strike halts city building

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The president of a concrete mixing company with a major plant in Maspeth and offices in the Rockaways said his corporation was attempting to negotiate an independent contract with its workers following a citywide concrete-truck driver strike which paralyzed construction projects last week in the five boroughs.

More than 450 city concrete-truck drivers walked off the job July 1 after failing to negotiate higher wages with the Association of New York City Concrete Producers, halting most of the city's major construction projects, said Carolyn Daly, a spokeswoman for Teamsters Local 282, the union that called the strike.

But John Quadrozzi, president of Quadrozzi Concrete Corporation, said his company was trying to negotiate its own independent contract with the more than 50 concrete truck drivers it employs for construction projects. The company owns a large mixing plant on Metropolitan Avenue in Maspeth as well as offices in the Rockaways and Brooklyn.

"It's costing us a lot of money," Quadrozzi said. "But it's not only costing us — it's costing our employees and customers. It's a rippling effect. And when jobs get stopped, electricians, carpenters, steel workers and plumbers also come to a standstill."

Quadrozzi said a majority of the city's construction projects are made with concrete rather than steel, because the substance is sturdier, more fireproof and projects using the material take less time to complete. He said the strike likely halted most of the city's construction projects. All six of Quadrozzi's current projects, which include Manhattan's Freedom Tower, have been stopped.

But the company was at the bargaining table with its workers Tuesday afternoon in an attempt to work out its own contract.

"We met with the union, made a proposal and it is under review," he said. "We are aggressively moving forward to resolve this and we'll stay at it until we have a resolution."

Daly said talks are ongoing between Local 282 and the city's Concrete Producers Association. She said some of the issues being discussed are wages, work conditions and benefits.

"Both sides are working in good faith to reach a fair and equitable agreement and we've committed to talking at this time," she said.

The Association of Concrete Producers said it would not comment on the strike.

Reach reporter Nathan Duke by e-mail at nduke@timesledger.com or by phone at 718-229-0300, Ext. 156.

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