Road construction workers ratify 5-year contract
- Operating Engineers 324 OK’s deal with newly formed Michigan Union Contractors Group
- Construction progress of state’s infrastructure “will continue unobstructed,” union says
- Workers to get wage increases, investments in training and safety
The International Union of Operating Engineers 324 members approved a new, five-year road construction contract with the newly formed Michigan Union Contractors Group after a nearly month long labor lockout last year stalled projects across Michigan.
The contract promises that construction progress of the state’s infrastructure “will continue unobstructed, and secures provisions the union sought when agreeing to terminate their previous contract,” the union said in a Tuesday news release.
The Michigan Infrastructure and Transportation Association barred more than 1,000 union workers from construction sites in a labor lockout on Sept. 4 in an effort to get the union to sign a industry-proposed contract. A short-term deal was reached in late September to resume work without a contract to finish the 2018 construction season. A previous five-year contract ended June 1 and the union had no interest in negotiating a new contract with MITA.
Provisions in the new contract include a guarantee that subcontractors hired under the contract are held to the same wages, terms and conditions as the general contractor, which shields taxpayers and workers from “substandard workmanship and compensation,” the release said.
Workers will also get graduated wage increases along with investments in training and safety, the release said.
“We have secured a long-term agreement that is both fair and equitable for our members who perform road work in Michigan. We will continue to provide our contractor partners with the highest skilled, most productive and safety conscious workforce to rebuild our states crumbling infrastructure,” Operating Engineers 324 President Ken Dombrow said in the release.
Operating Engineers 324 represents about 2,000 road construction workers in Michigan, union spokesman Dan McKernan told Crain’s.
“We’re glad to have this contract in place,” McKernan said. “We all know the massive amount of work that roads and bridges in Michigan need.”