Nov. 14 — A federal court dispute over allowing union advocates to accompany OSHA inspectors while the agency checks a Nissan North America auto manufacturing plant has been settled, according to a Nov. 14 judge’s order ( In re Establishment of Nissan N. Am. , S.D. Miss., No. 16-mc-0692, 11/14/16 ).
The settlement ends a three-month court fight over whether Nissan had to allow union advocates who work at the plant to participate in the inspection at the request of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.
A controversial 2013 OSHA letter of interpretation said inspectors may allow worker representatives at nonunion worksites to accompany them during inspections.
The order from Magistrate Judge Linda R. Anderson of U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Mississippi says that the three workers OSHA wants to participate in the Canton, Miss., plant inspection can volunteer for the factory’s official safety committee.
After the workers complete orientation training for the safety committee, Nissan won’t object to their participation in the inspection, the order says. Other members of the committee not involved in the court dispute may also participate.
OSHA initially tried to inspect the plant Aug. 8, following a report from Nissan that a worker had three fingers amputated in an accident, court records show. At the request of more than 30 plant workers, OSHA said, it wanted representatives of the pro-union Nissan Workers Organizing Committee to be with the inspector while working conditions were examined.
After Nissan objected to the organizing committee members’ presence, OSHA received an inspection warrant from a federal judge on Sept. 1 approving the inspection and participation of committee members.
On Sept. 19, Nissan asked the judge to quash the warrant. The Nov. 14 order closes the case if OSHA and Nissan abide by the order’s provisions.
The Nissan action isn’t the only court challenge to OSHA allowing union representatives to accompany inspectors at nonunion worksites.
On Sept. 8, the National Federation of Independent Businesses filed suit in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas asking the court to approve a permanent injunction prohibiting OSHA from using the 2013 memo to decide who may accompany inspectors ( Nat’l Fed’n of Indep. Bus. v. Dougherty , N.D. Tex., No. 16-cv-2568, 9/8/16 ).
Mark Jicka of Watkins & Eager PLLC in Jackson, Miss., and Thomas Benjamin Huggett of Littler Mendelson PC in Philadelphia represented Nissan North America.
Mitzi Paige of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Jackson and Rolesia Dancy and Jean Abreu of the Department of Labor’s Office of the Solicitor in Atlanta represented OSHA.
To contact the reporter on this story: Bruce Rolfsen in Washington at BRolfsen@bna.com
To contact the editor responsible for this story: Larry Pearl at firstname.lastname@example.org
The Nov. 14 order is available at http://src.bna.com/j4I
Copyright © 2016 The Bureau of National Affairs, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
All Bloomberg BNA treatises are available on standing order, which ensures you will always receive the most current edition of the book or supplement of the title you have ordered from Bloomberg BNA’s book division. As soon as a new supplement or edition is published (usually annually) for a title you’ve previously purchased and requested to be placed on standing order, we’ll ship it to you to review for 30 days without any obligation. During this period, you can either (a) honor the invoice and receive a 5% discount (in addition to any other discounts you may qualify for) off the then-current price of the update, plus shipping and handling or (b) return the book(s), in which case, your invoice will be cancelled upon receipt of the book(s). Call us for a prepaid UPS label for your return. It’s as simple and easy as that. Most importantly, standing orders mean you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you’re relying on. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.960.1220 or by sending an email to email@example.com.
Put me on standing order at a 5% discount off list price of all future updates, in addition to any other discounts I may quality for. (Returnable within 30 days.)
Notify me when updates are available (No standing order will be created).
This Bloomberg BNA report is available on standing order, which ensures you will all receive the latest edition. This report is updated annually and we will send you the latest edition once it has been published. By signing up for standing order you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you need. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.372.1033, option 5, or by sending us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Put me on standing order
Notify me when new releases are available (no standing order will be created)