Three Oceana County road projects might potentially be impacted by striking workers at Rieth-Riley Construction Company.
The workers went on strike July 31. The union is Operating Engineers Local 324 (OE324), and the strike follows more than a year of negotiations to resolve a dispute regarding allegedly unfair labor practices by the employer, according to a union press release.
“Any operating engineers there are not working. They are on strike,” Dan McKernan, the union spokesperson, told Shoreline Media.
The Indiana-based company Rieth-Riley operates several construction crews in Michigan, as well as 13 facilities that produce asphalt for themselves and other contractors in the state. Rieth-Riley locations in West Michigan include Ludington, Manistee and Holland. The OE324 union members operate heavy machinery for Rieth-Riley, including road construction projects and at the asphalt producing facilities.
Due to the strike, there could be an impact on road construction projects throughout the state as asphalt supplies become limited.
Oceana County Road Commission Manager Mark Timmer said Rieth-Riley is the contractor too pave VanBuren Road in Weare Township, the general contractor on the Oceana Drive federal aid overlay job on Oceana Drive from New Era to M-20 and a subcontractor for paving on the Shelby Road bridge project of which Hardman Construction from Ludington is the general contractor.
“These three jobs may potentially have the completion dates delayed by the strike,” Timmer said.