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USW: OSHA INSPECTS LUKENS PLANT; COMPANY REFUSES TO ALLOW UNION REPRESENTATIVE TO OBSERVE INSPECTION AS REQUIRED BY LAW

 USW: OSHA INSPECTS LUKENS PLANT; COMPANY REFUSES TO ALLOW
 UNION REPRESENTATIVE TO OBSERVE INSPECTION AS REQUIRED BY LAW
 COATESVILLE, Pa., Dec. 10 /PRNewswire/ -- In an apparent violation of federal law, the Lukens Steel Company refused to allow a representative of the United Steelworkers of America (USW) to accompany an inspector from the United States Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) during a surprise "walk-around" safety inspection at the company's plant here today, the union said.
 Section 8(e) of the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Act requires that a representative of the employer and a representative authorized by the employees shall be given the opportunity to accompany any inspection of the workplace. The USW is the authorized representative of the employees of the plant, regardless of any work stoppage, the union said.
 "Lukens is talking some nonsense about how we don't represent the people working the plant right now," said Tom Jones, USW District 7 staff representative. "That's just plain wrong. Lukens itself recognizes this union as the authorized representative of the workers. That authorization has not changed because of the strike.
 "Besides that," said Jones, "there are a few people working in there who are 'financial core' members of this local. While we're not happy with them crossing our picket lines, they are still members of this union and we are still concerned about their health and safety on the job."
 "What is Lukens hiding?" asked Harry Haines, president of USW Local 1165. "Things must be pretty bad in there, and they don't want us to see it," Haines said. "They know we'll tell the truth about what conditions are really like inside that plant, instead of the sugar- coated versions the company has been putting out."
 The union said it is demanding that OSHA enforce the law requiring a union representative to be given the opportunity to participate in the inspection. Enforcement could include obtaining a federal warrant requiring Lukens to admit a union representative.
 Over 1,330 members of USW Local 1165 have been on strike at the plant since Oct. 1, 1991. The two sides are scheduled to return to the bargaining table tomorrow (Dec. 11) at 9:30 a.m. in Philadelphia, the union said.
 /delval/
 -0- 12/10/91
 /CONTACT: Tom Jones of USW District 7, 215-265-7577, or 215-384-9180; Harry Haines, president of USW Local 1165, 215-384-9180; or Phil Smith of Fingerhut Powers and Associates, 215-363-1100, ext. 212, for United Steelworkers of America/ CO: United Steelworkers of America; Lukens Steel Company ST: Pennsylvania IN: MNG SU: CON


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Date:Dec 10, 1991
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