NLRB Steps up for Steelworkers

MEMPHIS (CN) - A logistics company violated federal labor laws by threatening and firing steel union employees, the National Labor Relations Board claims in court.
     NLRB Regional Director M. Kathleen McKinney sued Ozburn-Hessey Logistics LLC in Federal Court.
     The NLRB claims the company violated the National Labor Relations Act by engaging in unfair labor practices against United Steelworkers Union workers at its Memphis facility.
     Ozburn-Hessey, through its upper management employees, watched and monitored employees engaged in union activities, ordered union employees to leave the premises, "confiscated and removed pro-union materials from the employee break room," and threatened employees for engaging in union activities, the NLRB says in the lawsuit.
     The logistics company told workers to find another job if they had a problem with the company or engaged in protected activities, the complaint states.
     The NLRB claims that nine Ozburn-Hessey employees were fired because they "assisted the union."
     "Respondent has been discriminating in regard to the hire or tenure or terms or conditions of employment of its employees, thereby discouraging membership in a labor organization," the complaint states.
     Ozburn-Hessey will continue to violate the National Labor Relations Act unless the court grants immediate injunctive relief, the NLRB says.
     "There is imminent danger that substantial and irreparable injury will result to respondent's employees unless the continuation of the above mentioned unfair labor practices is immediately restrained," the complaint states. "A serious flouting of the Act and of public policies in the Act will continue, with the result that enforcement of important provisions of the Act and of public policy will be impaired before Respondent can be placed under legal restraint through the regular procedures of a Board order."
     McKinney is regional director for NLRB Region 15, based in New Orleans, which serves all of Mississippi and Louisiana and parts of Arkansas, Alabama, Florida, Missouri and Tennessee.
     The NLRB wants Ozburn-Hessey ordered to stop violating labor laws and reinstatement of fired employees. It is represented by house counsel William Hearne.