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Painters Union Strike Ends with Wage Increase

27 April, 2022

Painter Union Strike


A painters’ strike in the Kansas City area ended in the union’s favor, as the 600 members of the IUPAT District Council 3, [International Union of Painters and Allied Trades Local 2012] voted approximately two to one to accept a new contract offered by The Builders’ Association, a local construction group with which the union painters have a multimillion-dollar contract. According to an article in Construction Dive, the contract provides a 2.5 to 3% wage increase, depending on the trade of the members impacted, and represents the highest increase voted on since 2005.

The strike, the first painters’ strike in Kansas City since 1968, came after several months of failed wage negotiations with The Builders’ Association, a nonprofit construction trade organization and a sister organization to the Kansas City Chapter of Associated General Contractors. The Builders’ Association was offering a one percent pay raise, but the union responded that when compared to the current rate of inflation, this would actually amount to a cut in pay. As they couldn’t reach an agreement, the painters took to the picket line. The painters also stated that they had continued to work even during the pandemic, which further added to their frustration over the stalled negotiations, as they had expected some compromise from TBA.

While the construction organization agreed to higher wages after the eight day strike, IUPAT also compromised by removing an aspect regarding residential worker rates from the contract, according to Joey Flickner, director of servicing for the union.

Some industry observers have noted the public reaction to this strike as part of a trend showing increased support for organized labor, and predict more strikes in areas where unions are trying to create a stronger presence


Paint Union Strike


Union & Employer Reaction

APC reached out to the local IUPAT for comment, and is sharing the organization’s response below.

After over a week on strike, the 600 members of IUPAT local 2012 voted on April 20th to accept the new contract offered by The Builders’ Association. Our members know their worth and were willing to take the ultimate stand a union member can take. “These were tough negotiations and it’s been a tough couple of weeks,” said Frank Carpenter, Business Manager/Secretary Treasurer of District Council 3. “We appreciate the willingness of the contractors to come back to the table and their recognition of the value our members bring to their businesses.” 

“Our members collective action and solidarity led to the largest contract increase in 17 years, when workers fight together, they can achieve their goals,” said Jessica Podhola, Communications Director. “Direct action works. We also wouldn’t have achieved this contract without the solidarity from other trades and their commitment to their brothers and sisters in the trades. We can’t say thank you enough.”

A statement from The Builders’ Association, as reported in PaintSquare News said, “We understand the current uncertainty of the economic climate poses challenges for many in our region. We look forward to continuing our work with our industry partners in building a better tomorrow and advancing the lives of people through commercial construction.”

The PaintSquare article also reported the construction sector has added approximately 60,000 new jobs across commercial and residential sectors, bringing employment close to pre-pandemic levels. However, the article continues, an increase in planned infrastructure projects will create a need for more labor, and competition may be fierce.





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