Contract talks scheduled in Rieth-Riley strike

Published: Sep. 11, 2019 at 6:14 PM EDT
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There may be an end in sight to the strike that paralyzed road construction around Michigan earlier this summer--Rieth-Riley and Operating Engineers Local 324 have contract talks scheduled for the end of the month.

Both the company and the union say they're willing to talk and want to come to terms on a contract, but neither side sounds willing to budge.

"Unfortunately the strike has to continue," Dan McKernan, communications director for Operating Engineers 324 said.

Union Spokesman McKernan said workers are holding strong even after six weeks on strike and 16 months without a contract. The walkout has delayed, and even stopped some construction projects around the state.

"MDOT has postponed a few until next year and others are behind schedule now," McKernan said.

Ingham County Road Commission say that projects in Meridian Township and one in Delhi Township will have to wait for this strike to be over, but Rieth-Riley says it's overcome the initial delays caused by the strike.

In Jackson County the Jackson County Department of Transportation tell us that their grant funded projects will be completed on time.

However, the local funded projects are the only ones that they might not be able to get to this year.

"Right now were operating business as usual" "We had some temporary delays when the strike first started but we built our workforce back up and were not running at full capacity but we are probably running at 80%," Chad Loney, regional vice president of Rieth-Riley said.

He said they company will continue working with or without the union, but does want to get a deal done.

"Well we would hope that the union would come to the table with something reasonable in the contract," Loney said.

There are 13 Rieth-Riley locations actively striking.

The company is a major supplier of asphalt and also does paving, concrete construction and site preparation and excavation.

Copyright 2019 WILX. All rights reserved.

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