STERLING HEIGHTS, Mich. – For two weeks, road projects throughout the state have seen zero work being done.
The issue is the impasse between MITA (Michigan Infrastructure Transportation Association) and Local 342. MITA represents a consortium of road contractors, Local 324 the workers who operate heavy equipment. MITA locked out Local 324 after the union refused to bargain.
The governor offered mediation to both, but neither has responded. Now he’s asking Attorney General Bill Schuette for an opinion on whether this can legally be classified as a labor dispute.
If it is, it can unlock options for the governor to get both sides back to bargaining. Meanwhile, local communities like Sterling Heights are at the mercy of MITA and the union.
“We sure hope they get to the bargaining table and get this fixed,” said Sterling Heights Mayor Mike Taylor.
Sterling Heights has projects going on at Mound Road, Van Dyke and Dodge Park. Contractors are trying to work around the stoppage but the projects are now far behind.
“Winter is coming. I mean what are we going to have barrels up on the streets?” Taylor said. “How are we going to plow, we are really in unchartered waters here.”
Previous reporting on the dispute between contractors and unions: