Oregon Steel Mills Inc. officials said last week that no gag order exists that would prevent workers in any of its subsidiaries from testifying in court or otherwise using their free speech rights as protected by the First Amendment.
This was in response to comments made by the United Steelworkers of America that Oregon Steel had a history of retaliating against employees who testified in legislative hearings.
"The union is completely wrong. We have never had a gag order," said Vicki Tagliafico, director of communication and planning for Oregon Steel.
"The union's claims were directed toward our subsidiary company, Rocky Mountain Steel Mills, which has been involved in a dispute with the union for the past two years after the union chose to strike rather than remain at the bargaining table."
Tagliafico vows that the company has never attempted to discredit or intimidate employees.
She pointed to the fact that employees of the company have been called to testify in several hearings with no reprisals from the company.
"The union should look at its own record of intimidation and reprisals toward our employees who made a choice to work," said Tagliafico. "These employees have been subjected to unconscionable acts of racial harassment, property damage and vandalism."
Tagliafico said that to further illustrate the company's policy, those who went on strike two years ago still have work recall rights.