After losing four days of work last month due to a labor conflict, developers for the multimillion-dollar Arlington Downs project agreed this week that all future work on the project will be done by union workers.
"Going forward all our trade workers will be all union," said David Trandel, CEO of Stonestreet Partners, the project developer. The agreement was signed on Monday.
Trandel said he worked with Tom Villanova, president of the Chicago and Cook County Building and Construction Trades Council on the agreement.
Arlington Downs is a $250 million redevelopment project at the former Sheraton Hotel next to Arlington International Racecourse in Arlington Heights.
As part of a multiyear, multiphase project, the 27-acre site will include residential towers, retail, restaurants, a hotel and water park.
Tensions erupted in late April during work on the first luxury residential tower, One Arlington, which is set to open later this year.
Union workers walked off the job and nonunion workers didn't cross the picket lines, leading to four days of lost work, Trandel said.
The workers and other area union members picketed outside an Arlington Economic Alliance meeting in downtown Arlington Heights where village officials and local business leaders were inside, hearing an update on the project.
At that meeting, Trandel said that 65-70 percent of the workforce was unionized. He said the actual breakdown was up to the general contractor, Tishman Construction.
On Thursday he said each part of the project will be bid separately, but using all union workers will be a requirement going forward.
The newly signed agreement will not affect work on the residential tower already underway, but it will be in place for all other parts of the development.
Another point of contention between the two sides was from union members accusing Arlington Downs of busing in workers from Wisconsin instead of employing local workers.
Trandel said he doesn't know anything about that.
"There's no busloads of people coming in. We can't control where people live so I don't know how to address that," he said.
He said there is one subcontractor that is from Wisconsin, however.
Trandel said he is confident workers will make up the lost time and complete One Arlington -- which started signing leases last week -- as planned.
"The truth of the matter is we're not out to ruffle feathers," Trandel said. "Everything is resolved and it's nice to have everybody on the same page. We'll be OK."