Business groups challenge union election rule in federal court case

A lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia seeks to prevent the National Labor Relations Board from implementing its final Representation-Case Procedures rule, which critics contend enables “ambush” elections by limiting the actions of employers responding to petitions of organizing-minded union locals. The rule significantly shortens the period between the time the union files a request for an election with the Board and the time the election is held.

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Union-wise driver prevails in NLRB back wages calculation

In one of its final decisions on the 2014 docket, the National Labor Relations Board adopted an administrative law judge’s order that Fairmont Heights, Md.-based Pessoa Construction Co. pay a former dump truck driver $95,000 in back wages. It settles protracted pay period and calculation proceedings triggered by an initial agency decision determining the highway contractor violated the National Labor Relations Act when it terminated William Membrino for “union activities.”

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New OSHA recordkeeping / reporting requirements


Assistant Secretary for Occupational Safety & Health David Michaels reminds employers of new incident reporting measures effective this year. A revised Occupational Safety and Health Administration rule requires reporting of all work-related fatalities within eight hours and all in-patient hospitalizations, amputations, and losses of an eye within 24 hours of finding about the incident. Previously, employers were required to report all workplace fatalities within 24 hours, and when three or more workers were hospitalized in the same incident.

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Capitol Hill and mining veteran heads PCA Government Affairs

A. Todd Johnston has joined the Portland Cement Association Washington office as vice president for Government Affairs, arriving with a strong record of experience and accomplishments in state government and industry, and on Capitol Hill. Most recently, he served as staff director for the Subcommittees on Environment and Energy under the U.S. House Committee on Science, Space and Technology, leading a team whose primary focus was on the technical, scientific and legal underpinnings of major Environmental Protection Agency-proposed regulatory initiatives: greenhouse gas standards for power plants; revisions to the National Ambient Air Quality Standards for ozone; and, changes to the scope of regulation falling under the Clean Water Act.  

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Ready mixed, precast interests occupy Orlando

Sources: CP staff; National Ready Mixed Concrete Association, Silver Spring, Md.; National Precast Concrete Association, Carmel, Ind.

A month after the upbeat World of Concrete 2015 in Las Vegas, ready mixed and precast producers will reconvene in Florida, with the NRMCA Annual Convention March 1-3 at the Orlando World Marriott, and the NPCA and American Concrete Pipe Association-backed Precast Show March 5-7 at the Orange County Convention Center.

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Languishing 2009-13 coal ash recycling rates reflect regulatory uncertainty

According to American Coal Ash Association’s (ACAA) “Production and Use Survey,” 51.4 million tons of coal combustion products (CCP) were beneficially used in 2013—down from 51.9 million tons in 2012 and well below the 2008 peak of 60.6 million tons. In the closely watched category of fly ash consumed in concrete mixes, utilization increased only slightly to 12.3 million tons, up by 577,705 tons over 2012, but still below 12.6 million tons in 2008.

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Fly ash marketers, users spared ‘hazardous material’ stigma in EPA rule

After five and a half years of proposals, reworking and review of 450,000-plus comments, the Environmental Protection Agency issued a final rule on coal combustion residuals (CCR) from utility power plants, strengthening management guidelines for impoundment- or landfill-bound material while supporting responsible recycling practices best exemplified in ASTM C618-grade fly ash processing and marketing.

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OSHA, NIOSH red flag silica exposure in manufactured stone value chain

Sources: Occupational Safety and Health Administration; CP staff

A joint OSHA and National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Hazard Alert defines dust control measures to protect workers from significant crystalline silica exposure during manufacturing, finishing, and installing natural and manufactured stone countertops, leading types of which bear 60–95 percent silica content.

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