Federal law requires companies to allow a union representative to accompany an OSHA compliance officer on a facility inspection. But in a recent case involving Honeywell, there’s an added factor:
Union workers have been locked out since June 28, 2010.
At Honeywell’s Metropolis, IL, plant, a hydrofluoric acid leak occurred on Dec. 22, 2010. The plant is the only one in the U.S. where uranium is refined for nuclear power plants.
OSHA wants to inspect the tank farm area where the leak occurred.
On Feb. 8, 2011, Honeywell refused to allow a union representative to accompany an OSHA officer on an inspection.
OSHA obtained a warrant from a federal judge to allow the inspection with the union rep. But Honeywell once again refused to allow the union worker to participate in the inspection.
Next step: OSHA will seek a contempt citation against Honeywell.
Honeywell says it’s studying the warrant but notes that no union employees were working at the time of the leak. For that reason, Honeywell says there’s no reason for the union rep to be allowed on the inspection.
The company says workers who were there at the time of the leak will be allowed to participate in the inspection.
Should the union representative be allowed to go on the OSHA inspection? Let us know what you think in the Comments Box below.