The MITA Road Negotiations Committee has, over the last month, reached out to the Operating Engineers, Local 324 (OE 324) several times in an effort to begin bargaining for a new collective bargaining agreement. To date, the union has refused to meet and has informed the committee that it is withdrawing from any multi-employer bargaining with MITA.
Obviously, this strategy by OE 324 makes little sense and has forced MITA to take several tactical steps in order to prepare for the potential of a drawn out labor struggle. With significant legal guidance, MITA has put into place a website, which will be used to share facts and information with ALL of your affected employees. This website will house a list of the contractors so employees understand the scope of the impact. It will include a Frequently Asked Questions section, as well as other informational components. The site will also include proposals that the committee has offered to the union in an attempt to open discussions.
The address of the website is: michiganinfrastructurelabornegotiations.com
You are encouraged to share the letter with ALL of your employees (all trades, not just OE 324) so they can get all of the latest facts. It is at times like this, during a standstill in contract talks, that many unsubstantiated rumors begin to circulate. As an employer, you are allowed to share this letter with employees as often as possible through paycheck stuffers, regular mail, email and even company Facebook pages.
Let us warn you to be very careful when communicating with employees. All communications are controlled by NLRB rules. Common sense statements are not always considered legal by the NLRB. It is important that you stick to the direction we provide. It is also VERY important that you do not attempt to negotiate directly with your employees in any way. Nor should you attempt to pressure them. Just share the website and encourage them to get the true facts there.
MITA will be hosting an informational meeting for all MITA OE 324 Road Contractors on Wednesday, May 30th at 9:00 a.m. at the MITA office. An RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org is appreciated so we can anticipate attendance levels. We understand that there is an MDOT letting that week, but we feel that it is imperative that the industry has an opportunity to get questions answered prior to the expiration of the collective bargaining agreement on Friday, June 1st.
If you can’t make it to the meeting, or if you have any other questions, please call Mike Nystrom at 517-896-1493.