By: Christine Souders
A more than $16 million dollar project in Galesburg is losing steam, and union workers are trading in their tools for picket signs.
The informational picket started Tuesday at the site of Galesburg High school's athletic complex after a non union worker was brought in to do part of the project.
The International Union of Operating Engineers Local Number 649 was hired on by the school district to work on the project.
But Galesburg's Superintendent said they walked off, and headed to the picket line.
"We do our best to with our unions. We appreciate the work that they do, but there's other people that have the right to work," said Superintendent Bart Arthur.
Stanley and Irma Olson live across the street from the high school, but they aren't really seeing eye to eye about the predicament.
"If I can bring them coffee I will," said Irma Olson, who is pro union.
"Nobody ever wins in a strike situation or lockout," said Stanley Olson, who spent 20 plus years working union, and 10 years non union.
He said there has to be compromise.
"They need to get back to the tables and discuss more with a give and take on both sides."
But for Irma Olson, she thinks this is simply a waste of time, and money.
"I feel it's going to add more expense to this, delay the project. As they delay, material costs are going to go up."
And before tensions rise even higher, the Superintendent said they are working with project manager, Russell Construction towards a solution as quick as possible.
"Russell Construction is working with me, and we're trying get this resolved so they can get them on the work."
The Superintendent said it's not a crisis situation right now, but this could affect the project later down the road.
The project is scheduled to be finished by August 2014.