MITA has learned that all contractors who have submitted a Request to Suspend Work and a Notice of Intent to File Claim for an extension of time and additional compensation related to the defensive lockout of Operating Engineers, Local 324 (OE 324) and those contractors who have actually filed a Request for Extension of Time for the first week of the lockout, have or soon will receive a letter from MDOT responding to those requests and notices.
In their response letters, MDOT indicates that “based on the information currently provided” it has not been demonstrated that a delay due to the defensive lockout of OE 324 is an “excusable delay” as defined in subsection 108.08 of the Standard Specifications for Construction.
Depending on the particular contractor letter MDOT is responding to, the MDOT letters go on to communicate the following MDOT positions: that requests to suspend projects are denied, that requests for additional compensation are denied, and that extensions of time will be approved with the assessment of liquidated damages.
Although these stated MDOT positions are significantly different than the positions MITA believed MDOT would be taking based on prior conversations with MDOT leadership, we encourage all contractors who receive these letters not to immediately panic.
MITA still believes that we have a strong legal basis that will demonstrate to MDOT that the defensive lockout of OE 324 is an excusable delay as defined in subsection 108.08 of the Standard Specifications for Construction.We are hopeful that once we have demonstrated this legal basis to MDOT, they will change their position and contractually deal with this defensive lockout as an excusable delay in accordance with subsection 108.08.
We will keep all MITA members updated with future bulletins on the status of our efforts in this very important industry matter.
If you have questions or concerns, please contact Mike Nystrom, Executive Vice President, at 517-896-1493, or Glenn Bukoski, Vice President of Engineering Services, at 517-256-0741.