This statement is from Mike Nystrom, executive vice president of the Michigan Infrastructure and Transportation Association (MITA). Nystrom is commenting on discussions now underway between MITA and the National Guard on how best to deploy National Guard heavy equipment operators to road projects currently shut down because of a defensive lockout with Operating Engineers (OE), Local 324.
Gov. Rick Snyder has proposed using National Guard equipment operators to restart work on stalled road projects until OE 324 workers are back on the job. On June 1, the contract between MITA member companies and OE 324 expired.
LANSING, Mich. – “MITA is in direct conversations with high-ranking officials at the National Guard about how the industry and National Guard might work together to jumpstart road projects that have been affected by the Operating Engineers, Local 324 (OE 324) defensive lockout. MITA is surveying its members to determine specific operator needs required to temporarily replace all OE 324 members in terms of numbers, qualifications and geographical needs across the state.
Due to the fact that not all operators use the same pieces of equipment, it is important for the safety of the job site and the integrity of the work that each project gets the appropriate operators for the job. Once this is determined, MITA and the National Guard will work with MDOT to determine how these equipment operators will be integrated into the contractors’ workforce. In the meantime, MITA continues to stand ready to meet with OE 324 leaders anytime to start meaningful talks.”
This statement is from Mike Nystrom, executive vice president of the Michigan Infrastructure and Transportation Association (MITA). Nystrom is commenting on a false media statement issued today by Operating Engineers, Local 324 (OE 324) claiming that an agreement was reached with Gov. Rick Snyder’s office early this week, and that MITA rejected, to put road workers back on the job. On June 1, the contract between MITA member companies and OE 324 expired.
LANSING, Mich. – “Today the leaders of OE 324, Doug Stockwell and Ken Dombrow, issued a statement to the media falsely claiming that MITA rejected an agreement Monday negotiated by the Governor’s Office to put OE 324 members back to work. Unfortunately for OE 324 members and motorists who are waiting for the industry to get back to work fixing Michigan’s roads, these supposed leaders have flat out lied and are proving to be as dishonest and no more trustworthy than their predecessor, John Hamilton.
The truth is that MITA and OE 324 were asked to meet with the Governor’s Office Monday in an attempt to start some sort of talks. Both parties met separately with the Governor’s team, but no form of an agreement was ever finalized. Discussions continued between the Governor’s Office and OE 324 throughout the week in an effort to set up some form of a mediation session, which was scheduled for Friday, Sept. 21. OE 324 has now walked away and continues to refuse to meet to even start real and productive talks, just as they have all summer long. Instead of coming to the table for talks, Mr. Stockwell and Mr. Dombrow continue to collect their paychecks and enjoy their fringe benefits while their members continue to wait for a new contract while receiving no pay and no benefits, and Michigan motorists continue to drive on some of the worst roads in the nation.
MITA member companies are more unified than ever, and I will say it again: This defensive lockout will end as soon as the union ratifies the industry-proposed contract. The industry will work with the Governor’s Office and MDOT in order to make progress on as many road projects as possible with available workers who are qualified to safely operate the equipment needed to complete a quality project.”