Representative Martha Roby (R-AL) is concerned that the U.S. Department of Labor is targeting Southern vehicle and auto-parts manufacturers because of their failure to unionize.
Southern automotive manufacturers are now subject to in-depth inspections as part of an OSHA regional emphasis program. This increased scrutiny comes a year after the agency announced union representatives may accompany OSHA officials when inspecting non-union sites – an organizing tactic unions now use.
Department of Labor Secretary Thomas Perez explained to Congress that Alabama’s auto-parts manufacturers in particular had seen about 4.5 occupational injuries per 100 workers, compared with the average of 3 per 100 nationwide. He used 2010 statistics. But 2012 statistics, the most recent available, shows that both Georgia and Alabama have a better safety record than the national average. Left unanswered is why did OSHA wait until 2014 to implement a regional emphasis program if it was truly concerned about 2010 injury statistics.