Workers at Wells concrete Procucts walk off job Friday

Published 12:00 am Saturday, June 1, 2002

Workers at Wells Concrete Products were walking a picket line on Friday.

They went on strike after being unable to come to an agreement on wage levels during their current round of contract negotiations, according to both labor and management sources. The company is the largest employer in Wells, and widely recognized in the Midwest for its high-quality concrete products.

The strike involved its pre-cast concrete division, a main component of the company. About 180 employees work in that division, and are organized by Laborers Local 68 union.

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According to company President David G. Buesing, the negotiations to renew a 3-year union contract came to a deadlock on Thursday when the union turned down the company’s offer. The operation of the division was completely stopped Friday, he said.

LaMar Johnson, Laborers Local 68 representative, would not disclose details about the dispute. But the strike is continuing next week, with a mediator seeking to build common ground with the management.

Wells Concrete employs about 250 people in a 130,000 square-foot plant and 10,000 square-foot corporate office. Since its founding in 1951, Wells Concrete Products has expanded its business from ready-mix concrete to a variety of concrete construction products. It also offers construction design and installation of products on the project site. Projects the company has handled in the past include the Hormel Foods building in Austin and the new student recreation center at Minnesota State University-Mankato.