Rep. Martha Roby questions program targeting southern auto plant - WDAM-TV 7-News, Weather, Sports-Hattiesburg, MS

Rep. Martha Roby questions program targeting southern auto plants

(Source: Michael Wayland) (Source: Michael Wayland)

U.S. Representative Martha Roby has questioned a federal initiative that is targeting the southern automotive industry.

The Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) recently initiated a "Regional Emphasis Program" that is targeting automotive manufacturers and parts suppliers in Alabama, Georgia and Mississippi. The OSHA directive claims that workers in the industry are subject to "serious injuries, including amputations and death," but cites no data to support the claim. It also does not explain why modern, non-union facilities in the South would warrant more scrutiny than the older, unionized counterparts in the Midwest.

In a letter to Labor Secretary Thomas Perez, who oversees OSHA, Roby questioned how federal authorities could justify this scrutiny for the automotive plants in the south.

"While I recognize that certain aspects of heavy manufacturing are dangerous and accidents do unfortunately sometimes occur, I am not aware of a rash of amputations or deaths in Southeastern facilities," Rep. Roby wrote. "Absent a compelling rationale grounded in fact, OSHA's targeted enforcement tactics become susceptible to charges that they are at best arbitrary, and at worst discriminatory." 

Roby also stated that the timing of this initiative is suspect due to the recent rejection of an attempt to unionize a nearby Volkswagen assembly plant in Chattanooga, TN. She also stated that allowing union representatives to accompany OSHA inspectors on visits to non-union facilities is also suspicious.

"It is understandable that many perceive these steps to be part of a coordinated effort to advance a pro-union agenda within the growing Southeastern automotive manufacturing industry, which is thriving due in part to the pro-business environment and skilled workforce found in our region," Rep. Roby wrote. "As you know, employees in Southeastern facilities have repeatedly resisted unionization, most recently in February at the Volkswagen assembly plant in Chattanooga. It is concerning that a federal government agency may be advancing on Southeastern workers a pro-union agenda that they do not want."

Roby said she looks forward to Secretary Perez's response when he testifies before the Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies Appropriations Subcommittee on Wednesday. Rep. Roby is a member of the subcommittee.

Copyright 2014 WSFA 12 News.  All rights reserved.

  • Local NewsLOCALMore>>

  • Local Pine Belt students named Lindy Callahan Scholar-Athletes

    Local Pine Belt students named Lindy Callahan Scholar-Athletes

    Local Pine Belt students named Lindy Callahan Scholar-Athletes

    Monday, April 23 2018 12:04 AM EDT2018-04-23 04:04:05 GMT
    WDAMWDAM
    WDAMWDAM

    16 top seniors across Mississippi are making strides, going home with a prestigious award. WDAM was able to speak with one of this years Lindy Callahan Scholar-Athlete award winners from Laurel High School. Todd Breland said, "I think it's awesome. The way Kimberton, not only his contributions to the athletic portion at Laurel High School, but the way he conducts himself at school everyday. He's always in a good mood. He's tremendous in the classroom. He's just an outstanding yo...

    More >>

    16 top seniors across Mississippi are making strides, going home with a prestigious award. WDAM was able to speak with one of this years Lindy Callahan Scholar-Athlete award winners from Laurel High School. Todd Breland said, "I think it's awesome. The way Kimberton, not only his contributions to the athletic portion at Laurel High School, but the way he conducts himself at school everyday. He's always in a good mood. He's tremendous in the classroom. He's just an outstanding yo...

    More >>
  • Local church delays Nicaragua mission trip for safety

    Local church delays Nicaragua mission trip for safety

    Sunday, April 22 2018 11:23 PM EDT2018-04-23 03:23:50 GMT
    source: wdamsource: wdam
    source: wdamsource: wdam

    The Carterville Baptist Church delayed their mission trip to Nicaragua after receiving an urgent phone call that the destination was no longer safe due to an unrest in the country. Pastor of Carterville Baptist Church and mission team lead Ben Skipper says the call came while members were waiting in line at the airport to receive their plane tickets.  

    More >>

    The Carterville Baptist Church delayed their mission trip to Nicaragua after receiving an urgent phone call that the destination was no longer safe due to an unrest in the country. Pastor of Carterville Baptist Church and mission team lead Ben Skipper says the call came while members were waiting in line at the airport to receive their plane tickets.  

    More >>
  • Police: 3 charged in shooting at Petal apartment

    Police: 3 charged in shooting at Petal apartment

    Sunday, April 22 2018 10:49 PM EDT2018-04-23 02:49:29 GMT
    Raul Tlaxcala, 18, charged with Aggravated assault with a deadly weapon; (Photo Source: Petal Police jail docket)Raul Tlaxcala, 18, charged with Aggravated assault with a deadly weapon; (Photo Source: Petal Police jail docket)

    Petal police are investigating a shooting that occurred Saturday night. According the authorities, the shooting happened around 8 o'clock at an apartment complex.  Detectives tell us the incident involved a man and three brothers. Detectives believe the shooting stemmed in a dispute involving a female. The fourth man involved, the victim, was shot once and was taken to an area hospital with non-life threatening injuries. The victim has since ...

    More >>

    Petal police are investigating a shooting that occurred Saturday night. According the authorities, the shooting happened around 8 o'clock at an apartment complex.  Detectives tell us the incident involved a man and three brothers. Detectives believe the shooting stemmed in a dispute involving a female. The fourth man involved, the victim, was shot once and was taken to an area hospital with non-life threatening injuries. The victim has since ...

    More >>
Powered by Frankly