WXYZ-TV: Marick Masters on Michigan Road Construction work stoppage

The Michigan Infrastructure and Transportation Association locked out union workers from Michigan road construction job sites on Sept. 4, and work on the state’s roads has been stopped now for more than three weeks. WXYZ has learned it is not your typical labor dispute when you look at what it is not about. It is not about money or contract terms. The union has said it reached out to construction contractors, working to negotiate with them. Contractors have told the union to continue to negotiate with the Michigan Infrastructure and Transportation Association or MITA. It is an organization that represents more than 500 companies. The union has complained that MITA has lobbied against unions and has become so large that negotiations aren't fair. It wants to know whether there are anti-trust violations. “The union doesn’t want to negotiate with the association. It wants to negotiate with individual contractors. It thinks the association is anti-union,” said Marick Masters, director of Labor@Wayne at Wayne State University. MITA says it is simply representing the interests of contractors.

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