Jackson County officials Wednesday expressed hope that contract negotiations with labor unions will be worked out that avoid a work stoppage at several area construction projects, including the Truman Sports Complex.

Jackson County officials Wednesday expressed hope that contract negotiations with labor unions will be worked out that avoid a work stoppage at several area construction projects, including the Truman Sports Complex.
Rumors spread quickly that a union worker strike is a real possibility. This could delay ongoing work at Arrowhead Stadium, forcing the Kansas City Chiefs to make arrangements to play all their games this year on the road or find another nearby facility, according to the rumors.
“The rumors went crazy that things are going to get shut down,” Calvin Williford, the county’s chief of intergovernmental relations and communications, told The Examiner.
Williford also released a brief statement about the county’s stance on the issue.
Contract negotiations are under way between the Builders’ Association, which is the negotiator, and several trade union groups like the iron workers and carpenters over multiyear contracts that set wages for area construction projects.
Williford said the contracts expire Tuesday.
“If we don’t have a resolution in terms of new contracts by next week, clearly, you know, our concern will grow,” Williford said. “We are hopeful and confident that it’s going to get resolved. The county executive (Mike Sanders) is encouraging all parties in the negotiations to try and reach a conclusion that allows everything to move forward.”
County officials met with the Jackson County Sports Complex Authority on Wednesday about the issue.
And the sports authority has called an emergency meeting for today.
“We continue to be optimistic that cooler heads on both sides will prevail and that they’ll work out an agreement,” said Jim Rowland, the authority’s executive director.
The negotiations don’t have anything to do with the authority or the complex specifically, but the negotiation contracts, if not agreed upon, could result in work stoppage at multiple construction projects in the Kansas City area. The other projects a stoppage could affect are the performing arts center in Kansas City, the Iatan 2 power plant in Platte County, among others.
The Truman Sports Complex’s renovations total more than $600 million, and taxpayers approved a three-eighths-cent sales tax in 2006 to finance the majority of the improvements.
“We’re on the outside looking in,” Rowland said of the authority’s role in the negotiations.
Rowland declined to say what could happen if the no agreement is reached.
The Royals, including the home opener on April 10, likely would not be affected because most of the structural work on Kauffman Stadium’s renovations is nearly complete.