Sunday, May 28, 2017
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CEDAR POINT

Union ends strike, gets new deal from park

Health-care costs had been issue

SANDUSKY — Maintenance staff at Cedar Point ended a two-day strike against the Sandusky amusement park Tuesday after agreeing to economic improvements in a new five-year contract.

Members of Laborers Local 480 quickly ratified the tentative agreement, which was reached after a lengthy negotiating session between the union and management from Cedar Fair LP, owners of Cedar Point. The union’s 76 members walked off the job early Monday and set up picket lines at the entrance to the park after rejecting a tentative contract on Friday.

“We got everything settled. It’s all complete,” said Brian Francis, Local 480 business manager. “We held the vote. The guys on my picket lines were the last to vote, and it was all approved.”

Mr. Francis said he was glad to get the labor dispute resolved quickly. There are 18 carpenters, 14 electricians, 13 painters, and six plumbers who belong to other unions who each refused to cross picket lines set up Monday by Local 480 along the Cedar Point Causeway leading to the park, which is closed for the season.

Work to expand Cedar Point’s Hotel Breakers was shut down when construction trade union members declined to cross the picket lines.

“We didn’t want to depress Cedar Point or hurt any of the other contractors working there,” Mr. Francis said.

The Laborers do the bulk of the winter maintenance on the park. Their ranks include maintenance workers, ride mechanics, and landscapers.

Mr. Francis said workers had been unhappy with the economic compensation in the tentative contract voted down last week. “They’re getting money, but they’re just not getting anything in the paycheck,” he said, citing wages that are being eaten up by rising health-care costs.

But the new contract approved by members Tuesday takes care of that, he said, declining to cite specifics.

Contact Jon Chavez at: jchavez@theblade.com or 419-724-6128.

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