This win by our union is timely in that some paper companies are trying to go to health and safety programs that focus on worker behavior. In this case a National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) administrative law judge ruled a tool maker must bargain with its union over a new safety program it introduced that resulted in workers getting disciplined for safety violations and injuries.
USW Local 5518 filed NLRB charges July 30, 2010 when Kennametal, Inc., a tool maker, failed to bargain over implementation of its Management Based Safety (MBS) program at its Lydonville, Vermont plant. The company’s unilateral implementation of a new discipline policy for safety violations was also an integral part of the NLRB case.
Kennametal announced implementation of its corporate-wide MBS program on Feb. 2, 2010 and the union requested that the company bargain over its implementation the next day. The company refused, claiming it was not a mandatory subject of bargaining. It also asserted that its discipline policy for safety violations—called Procedure for Corrective Actions for Safety Violations and Work Instructions for Corrective Actions—had no relationship to MBS ... more