Sanderson Farms on Monday filed a complaint in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Mississippi against the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), saying the NLRB exceeded its authority by continuing to pursue charges of unfair labor practices against the company, despite the fact that the charging party had withdrawn the charges.

Local 693 of the Laborers International Union of North America (LIUNA),  AFL-CIO  filed unfair labor practices against Sanderson Farms between 2011 and 2013, but attempted to withdraw those charges earlier this year.  The union made those charges on behalf of eight employees at Sanderson’s plants in the Mississippi communities of Collins and Hazlehurst.  Sanderson’s complaint alleges that despite  LIUNA’s request to withdraw the charges, the NLRB has continued its investigation, and is thus violating the Administrative Procedure Act.

“The NLRB is persecuting these charges without the consent and, until recently, the knowledge of seven of the employees and from employees named in the charges, without a justifiable claim for another former employee named in the charges and contrary to Local 693’s request to withdraw its charges,” the complaint said.  “The NLRB is prosecuting these charges and has violated its duty of neutrality by attempting to convince Local 693 to maintain the charges.”

The complaint names as defendants the NLRB and Kathleen McKinney, the NLRB’s regional director for Region 15, which covers all or parts of Louisiana, Arkansas, Alabama, Mississippi, Tennessee, Florida, and Missouri.