On our show last week before the Labor Day weekend we told you about a lockout dispute affecting members of a labor union that represents road and bridge construction workers. Now, that lockout has put a freeze on dozens of road construction projects across Michigan.

The Michigan Infrastructure and Transportation Association represents road-building contractor firms and called the lockout. They’ve been in a dispute with Operating Engineers Local 324 ever since a five-year contract expired in June.

The union has been unhappy with MITA over its insistence that contractors don’t have to pay union-level benefits to non-union subcontractors. So they’ve been trying to negotiate directly with the contractors represented by the association.

The stoppage has affected major road repair projects including the I-75 River Rouge Bridge, I-696 reconstruction and some bridge reconstruction projects on I-96. It’s not known how long the work stoppages will last.

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