GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — A strike against the state's biggest paver and producer of asphalt could delay completion of highway projects and extend inconvenience for drivers.
Wednesday Operating Engineers 324 went on strike against Rieth-Riley Construction. The company is working on dozens of highway projects in the state, including several in West Michigan.
Union leaders say the issues date back more than a year when their contract expired.
In a written statement the company says they have offered over $58 per hour in total employee compensation but the union refuses to negotiate a fair deal. Union leaders say it is the company that won't compromise.
“There just hasn't been any budging at the negotiating table from the contractor,” Dan McKernan, the Operating Engineers 324 Communications Director said.
“Unfortunately, it is unavoidable that there will be an impact on motorists. We have certainly showed our good faith in trying to rebuild the state and keep people moving by working without a contract for a year and two months,” he said.
The union has accused Rieth-Riley of unfair labor practices. A hearing is scheduled in October before the National Labor Relations Board.
The strike against the Indiana based company includes about by 200 union members in Michigan.
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