Thunder Basin Coal Co. v. Reich, 510 U.S. 200, 5 (1994)

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204

THUNDER BASIN COAL CO. v. REICH

Opinion of the Court

resentatives, the employer must post at the mine information regarding these designees. 30 CFR 40.4.

The Secretary has broad authority to compel immediate compliance with Mine Act provisions through the use of mandatory civil penalties, discretionary daily civil penalties, and other sanctions.4 Challenges to enforcement are reviewed by the Federal Mine Safety and Health Review Commission, 30 U. S. C. 815 and 823, which is independent of the Department of Labor, and by the appropriate United States court of appeals, 816.

II

Petitioner Thunder Basin Coal Company operates a surface coal mine in Wyoming with approximately 500 nonunion employees. In 1990, petitioner's employees selected two employees of the United Mine Workers of America (UMWA), who were not employees of the mine, to serve as their miners' representatives pursuant to 813(f). Petitioner did not post the information regarding the miners' representatives as required by 30 CFR 40.4, but complained to the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) 5 that the designation compromised its rights under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA). App. 31. The MSHA district manager responded with a letter instructing petitioner to post the miners' representative designations. Id., at 49.

4 The Secretary must issue a citation and recommend assessment of a civil penalty of up to $50,000 against any mine operator believed to have violated the Act. 30 U. S. C. 814(a), 815(a), and 820(a). If an operator fails to abate the violation within the time allotted, the Secretary may assess additional daily civil penalties of up to $5,000 per day pending abatement. 820(b). The Secretary's representative also may issue a "withdrawal order," directing all individuals to withdraw from the affected mine area, 814(b) and (d), or pursue criminal penalties, 820(d).

5 The MSHA is established within the Department of Labor and represents the Secretary in enforcing the Mine Act. 91 Stat. 1319, 29 U. S. C. 557a.

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