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UAW sues GM over temporary workers, escalating fight over job cuts

GM sought to extend that period, and while the UAW agreed it had also pushed for the laid off pool of workers to eventually be hired to fill those openings, the lawsuit said

Reuters 

The GM logo is seen at the General Motors Warren Transmission Operations Plant in Warren, Michigan. Photo: Reuters
The GM logo is seen at the General Motors Warren Transmission Operations Plant in Michigan. Photo: Reuters

The said on Thursday it was suing Co over labour contract violations stemming from its alleged use of temporary workers at an assembly plant, escalating the union's fight against GM's plans to possibly close US factories.

The lawsuit, filed on Wednesday in US District Court in Ohio, was the union's first counter-move to GM's decision in late November to put five North American factories on notice for closure. The decision, which affects four US plants including one in Warren, Ohio, drew the condemnation of US and members of

The UAW, which will negotiate a new national labour deal with GM this year, has vowed to fight the cuts. The current labour contract was reached in 2015 and expires in September.

The union said there are about 1,000 laid-off hourly employees that have the right to transfer to plants with openings, including almost 700 at the plant in GM is employing temporary workers at its Assembly plant rather than transferring workers, the said.

"members negotiated a binding agreement and we expect to follow the contract they agreed to and GM members ratified," Vice said in a statement.

In December, the UAW sent a letter to GM formally objecting to the decision to end production in 2019 at four US plants, saying it violates commitments made during the contract talks in 2015. "We will use all of our resources to enforce our agreements," the union said in the letter.

GM said in a statement that it started the process to bring about 50 workers from the plant to late last year and has ongoing talks with the union regarding staffing needs in It declined to comment directly on the lawsuit, however.

The No. 1 US automaker has said the fate of the plants that have no future product allocated will be decided in talks with the UAW.

The union said in the lawsuit that on May 31, 2018, it approved GM's request to use temporary workers at the plant through the end of August 2018 to support the launch of new full-size pickup trucks.

GM sought to extend that period, and while the UAW agreed it had also pushed for the laid off pool of workers to eventually be hired to fill those openings, the lawsuit said.

GM ultimately lost the union's permission to use the temporary workers beyond the end of November, according to the lawsuit.

The UAW said many of the 690 workers on layoff had applied to transfer to the openings at It is asking the court to make any affected workers whole through back wages lost, benefits, relocation costs and seniority credit. 

First Published: Fri, January 04 2019. 00:02 IST
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