The House Appropriations Committee approved the 2016 Labor, Health and Human Services Appropriations bill on June 24 after addressing concerns by the National Stone, Sand and Gravel Association (NSSGA) raised on three key issues for members:
- The OSHA Crystalline Silica rule.
- Storage of ammonium nitrate.
- A rider dealing with the National Labor Relations Board’s “ambush elections” rule.
According to the committee report that accompanies the bill, congressional appropriators believed that a rule seeking to reduce workers’ exposure to silica should be delayed until it could be feasibly implemented in a cost-effective manner. Although report language does not have the force of law, it does indicate congressional intent, which can be very important.
NSSGA was one of several organizations to work with the committee to ensure the bill did not add ammonium nitrate to the list of chemicals covered under OSHA’s Process Safety Management Standards as highly hazardous chemicals.
A rider championed by the Coalition for a Democratic Workplace, of which NSSGA is a member, would prevent the NLRB from implementing its rulemaking, allowing employers to communicate with their employees prior to an election and providing employees the opportunity to be fully informed before making their decision. It would also prohibit the use of funds to implement any NLRB regulations or decisions expanding or modifying an employer’s legal obligation to provide a union with a list of names and home addresses of employees eligible to vote in a union representation election.