Rieth-Riley Workers Win Settlements Against Union for Illegal Strike Retaliation

Rieth-Riley Construction paving a parking lot
by Scott McClallen


Michigan Rieth-Riley Construction Company employees Rob Nevins and Jesse London won settlements against the International Union of Operating Engineers (IUOE) Local 324 union.

The settlements order IUOE union bosses not to discriminate against London and Nevins for leaving the union and pay $364 to London for owed health insurance premium.

The settlements stem from charges of retaliation the workers filed during the strike IUOE union bosses ordered in mid-2019. London and Nevins ended their union memberships and chose to keep working.

Nevins alleged union officials threatened to “blackball” him if he didn’t strike, and London reported IUOE withheld hundreds in health insurance premium money owed.

National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation staff attorneys filed the motions at no charge.

The settlements follow Rieth-Riley workers for a vote to remove the IUOE union from its monopoly bargaining power at their workplace.

In August 2020, Rieth-Riley employee Rayalan Kent submitted the latest employee-backed petition for an NLRB-supervised decertification election. IUOE filed “blocking charges” to counter the petition.

The Detroit regional National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) office ruled in November 2020 Kent’s petition was invalid and ballots that coworkers had already submitted in the vote should be destroyed. However, the NLRB in Washington, DC, took up Kent’s appeal.

IUOE Local 324 hasn’t responded to a request for comment.

“It’s easy to see why Rieth-Riley workers might resent IUOE Local 324 union officials and want them out of the workplace – they have established an awful track record of violating the rights of any employees who resist their will in any way instead of working to obtain their voluntary support,” National Right to Work Foundation President Mark Mix said in a statement. “While we’re pleased that Mr. London and Mr. Nevins won these settlements, we urge the NLRB to protect the right of all Rieth-Riley workers to vote to remove a union hierarchy they oppose.”

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Scott McClallen is a staff writer covering Michigan and Minnesota for The Center Square. A graduate of Hillsdale College, his work has appeared on Forbes.com and FEE.org. Previously, he worked as a financial analyst at Pepsi.
Photo “Rieth-Riley Construction” by Rieth-Riley Construction.


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