UAW sues GM over failure to transfer laid off Lordstown workers

LORDSTOWN, Ohio – The United Autoworkers Union has filed a lawsuit against General Motors claiming the automaker continues using temporary workers at its plant in Fort Wayne, Indiana instead of filling those jobs with some of the nearly 700 union members who have been laid off from the GM Assembly Plant in Lordstown.

The civil lawsuit filed Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Youngstown claims that GM is in violation of a memorandum of understanding with the UAW allowing GM to hire temporary employees from May 31, 2018, through August 31, 2018, to support the launch of a new pickup truck at the Fort Wayne Assembly Plant.

According to the suit, GM continued the use the workers even though the union rejected a request to extend the temporary employment until the end of this coming February.

The union said it did offer to allow the temps to work until the end of December if GM would agree to submit a plan to eliminate the temporary group by then and transfer senior union members to Fort Wayne.

The UAW says GM responded with a plan that wouldn’t eliminate the temporary workers until May 2019.

The union rejected the proposal and gave GM until the end of this past November to replace the temporary workers with UAW members.

The lawsuit says GM continues to use temporary workers in Fort Wayne while many of the 690 employees laid off in Lordstown have applied for jobs there.

Alleging breach of contract, the UAW is asking the court to order GM to stop using the temps in Fort Wayne and transfer union members to the plant.

General Motors, which already cut two shifts at its Lordstown operation, announced last year that it would stop making the Chevy Cruze at the plant this coming March and had no plans to replace production with another vehicle.  Closure of the plant would mean the loss of another 1,600 jobs.

The local union, government, and community leaders are mounting the so-called “Drive it Home” campaign to lobby GM to bring another vehicle to Lordstown.

In addition to Lordstown, GM said it intended to close two more plants by the end of this year.

Local UAW leaders have signaled their desire to make those plant closings an issue in negotiations for a new labor agreement which begin this fall.

GM responded Thursday saying they’re working to transfer employees already. That story can be read here: GM responds to federal lawsuit filed by UAW

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