NLRB dismisses union's charges against Lehigh Investigation finds no labor violations

February 07, 1993|By Amy L. Miller | Amy L. Miller,Staff Writer

The National Labor Relations Board has dismissed seven charges filed against Lehigh Portland Cement Co. by the union that represents the firm's Union Bridge workers.

Louis J. D'Amico, the NLRB's regional director, said his investigation concluded that the Union Bridge plant had not violated the National Labor Relations Act.

The union, Local 10031 of the United Paperworkers International Union, AFL-CIO, filed the charges last September. They included claims that Lehigh's management unilaterally changed employees' hours of work, refused to pay overtime, bypassed union officials to meet directly with employees and failed to meet with a union representative regarding the suspension of one employee.

Several amendments to the charges were added over the following months to clarify information.

"In view of the foregoing, I am refusing to issue a complaint on any of the issues raised by the charge," Mr. D'Amico said in his three-page response letter.

James E. Harris, president of the local that represents Lehigh's workers, said the group has not decided whether to appeal.

The local's leaders are waiting for advice from the international chapter, he said.

"We were very disappointed in the decision of the board," he said. "We felt we had substantial reasons for the charges we filed."

The deadline for the local to file an appeal is Feb. 12.

"This is not an issue we fought for," said David Roush, Lehigh's Union Bridge plant manager. "We are neither happy nor sad about it. It's just a decision."

He declined to make any further comment.

The United Paperworkers have represented Lehigh's employees since the summer of 1991, when the workers voted to leave the International Brotherhood of Boilermakers after their contract expired that year.

Lehigh employees still are working under the terms of that expired contract. Union and company representatives have been trying for 1 1/2 years to negotiate a new agreement.

"I can't say they're going terrific," Mr. Harris said of the contract negotiations.

He declined to discuss details.

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