Oakland County workers launch campaign blasting Road Commission’s disregard for worker, public safety
PONTIAC, Mich. – Oakland County road workers this week launched a campaign exposing unsafe work conditions that the county Road Commission has refused to address. Outlined on the website safetyforrcoc.com, the commission’s unsafe work requirements endanger the safety of road workers and potentially the safety of motorists.
“The Oakland County Road Commission is intentionally putting workers at risk of more injuries and more suffering,” said Ken Dombrow, Operating Engineers 324 President. “The Oakland County Road Commission’s reckless and irresponsible policies increase the risk for workers to get seriously hurt and potentially put motorists’ safety in danger, too. Road Commission must be held accountable for failing to make safety a priority for everyone who uses and works on Oakland County roads. We ask everyone to tell the Oakland County Road Commission that safety is important for workers and the public.”
The website calls on Oakland County residents to call the Road Commission at 248-858-4804. Among the dangerous policies the Road Commission is enforcing are:
• County truck drivers are expected to work for 16-hour shifts, with only 5.5 hours in between to rest. A driver could potentially work 32 hours behind the wheel with only 5.5 hours of rest.
• Workers are expected to work alongside moving traffic with little or no safety barriers, exposing workers to speeding cars with no protection.
• Employees are on-call 24/7 and can be disciplined for not working even when they are sick or using state-approved paid time off.
Road Commission workers have remained on the job without a contract for three years, working through the COVID-19 pandemic and rising inflation. OE324 has asked that a new contract include reasonable work schedules, allowances for time off and bereavement and job security provisions.