Construction Barrels

Road Workers Strike, Could Delay Major Projects Statewide

July 31, 2019 - 5:57 pm

DETROIT (WWJ) - Multiple road projects will slow or stop in Michigan due to a construction strike. 

Dan McKernan, spokesman for Local 324 of Operating Engineers Union, says the strike follows almost a year without a contract and a lockout of employees by Reith-Riley. 

"Our last contract ended on June 1st of last year," McKernan told WWJ Newsradio 950. "Since then there's lot of things that have happened, but none of them have resolved in a new contract. A lot of what has gone down are what we claim are unfair labor practices by the company themselves. The NLRB (National Labor Relations Board) has investigated and found our claims to have merit."

"What we're hoping is that they see that their workers are unsatisfied," he added, "that they see that this isn't a situation that can continue any longer, go the the table, sit down, hammer out, sign onto this contract and resolve these unfair labor practices that have gone on." 

With 200 union-represented heavy equipment operators are walking the picket line, Michigan Department of Transportation spokesman Tim Fisher said as many as 80 to 90 road projects across the state could be brought to a halt. 

"At this point we don't know whether or not there'll be a disruption, or if there is, to what extent," Fisher told. "It's up to the two parties to negotiate. At this point we are waiting and hoping that there will be a solution as soon as possible."

In a statement, Rieth-Riley said the union has negotiated in bad faith and is unwilling to compromise. The Indiana-based company operates several construction crews in the state as well as 13 facilities that produce asphalt for throughout Michigan. 

Do you see crews out working along your drive? Put in a call to the WWJ Listen Line at 248-327-2949.