Operating Engineers 324 (OE324) is disappointed, if not surprised, by the actions taken by Zenith Tech around the Escanaba Bridge.
Zenith Tech terminated their contract with OE324 on June 1, chose not to negotiate on a new agreement, and have since refused to acknowledge the ratified agreement signed by other contractors – including by firms working on the bridge project. Instead, they have postponed work, brought in out-of-state workers, and issued an inflammatory, factually inaccurate statement to cover their own lack of integrity to their employees and the community at large.
Completing this project has been of utmost importance to OE324 – last year, we opened a training site in Gladstone, cementing our ongoing dedication to Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. Our own members have been impacted by the long duration of the project, and many others have worked on the bridge uninterrupted for contractors who kept the best interests of their employees and residents alike in mind. OE324 has taken no action to “thwart” efforts to complete the work. OE324 has followed the rules dictated to them by their legal counsel and bylaws, which includes not dispatching members to work for a contractor who has no agreement or contract in place.
We sincerely hope that Zenith Tech recognizes that there are two sides to a partnership, and that the residents of the Upper Peninsula and OE324 members – the safest, best trained construction professionals – deserve better.