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LABOR BOARD SAYS UTAH CHAPTER DIDN’T BREAK LAW BY FINING SUPERVISOR

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An International Union of Operating Engineers Utah chapter did not violate federal laws in taking disciplinary action against a construction project supervisor, the National Labor Relations Board has ruled.

The NLRB said Rodney S. Butterfield had such "limited and irregular" supervisory authority at a 1985 highway construction site near Nephi that he could not qualify as an agent of the employer, Kasler Corp.An NLRB admistrative law judge had found Operating Engineers union Local No. 3 violated federal statutes barring labor organizations from attempting to coerce an employer in the selection of his representatives.

But the full board said the statute only applies to supervisors who have a role in collective bargaining or the handling of grievances. It said Butterfield never held such a position with Kasler during the 1985 project.

The union picketed the Nephi jobsite from May into August in 1985. Butterfield, a member of the union, crossed picket lines to work on the highway construction job.

The labor organization filed an internal grievance against Butterfield, claiming he was operating heavy equipment, rather than just working in a supervisory job. The union found Butterfield guilty of performing craft work and fined him.

Administrative Law Judge Gerald Wachnov then determined the union local was attempting to coerce Kasler Corp. in the selection of its representatives.

But the full board overturned the judge, saying the "minimal power" exercised by Butterfield was "too tenuous" to show the supervisor was a Kasler representative for grievance or collective bargaining proceedings.