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Federal judge finds union in contempt for failing to provide subpoenaed documents

A federal judge in Hawaii has granted the NLRB’s motion for civil contempt sanctions against the Sheet Metal Workers International Association, Local 293, for failing to turn over documents sought by subpoena for more than a year.

The NLRB is seeking documents related to the union’s hiring hall procedures, as part of an investigation into charges filed by a union member who claimed the union improperly failed to dispatch him to a job. In June of 2010, the NLRB issued a subpoena for the records. This spring, the agency obtained a federal magistrate’s order requiring compliance with the subpoena, and the order was affirmed by Chief Judge Susan Oki Mollway after the union filed objections. However, the union has continued to withhold the documents, leading to the agency’s motion for a contempt order.

In her order, issued Oct. 3, Judge Mollway said there was “clear and convincing evidence” to hold the union in contempt. She ordered the union to produce the documents in 14 days or face daily fines of $250 for as long as the non-compliance continues.

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