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Chicago Skyway Toll Workers Secure New Contract, Avoid Strike

Following plans to hold a Labor Dayweekend strike over contract negotiations, Chicago Skyway toll collectors on Wednesday said they secured a new three-year contract and avoided a strike. 

The workers claim the new contract with Skyway Concession Company gives them a living wage and critical new job protections.

The new contract expires July 3, 2018 and includes wage increases, and for the first time, guarantees full-time positions and limits the company's use of seasonal workforce. 

“These job protections and guarantees are a huge win for our members,” John Coli Jr., President of Teamsters Local 727, which represents the 30 toll collectors, said in a statement. “The company no longer will have the unlimited ability to hire temporary employees while our members sit at home, ready, willing and able to work.”

A group of toll collectors began making strike preparations earlier this week over contract negotiations with the Skyway Concession Company. The 30 workers were on the job without a contract – which expired at midnight– and the members planned to hold a strike vote on Wednesday. 

The new contract was proposed on Monday and ratified by Wednesday, the union said. 

The union argued most of the workers make $11 dollars an hour and have no medical insurance benefits because they are part time employees. Only five are full time, according to the union.

It also noted that despite the fact that Skyway Concession Company has increased Skyway tolls twice in the last two years, the company has not hired more full-time staff.

Local 727 representatives warned that commuters may experience excessive delays on the Chicago Skyway during Labor Day weekend should the employees walk off the job.

Chicago’s Skyway didn't immediately respond to NBC Chicago's request for comment.

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