The United Auto Workers stated on Thursday it was taking legal action against General Motors over labor contract violations emerging from its alleged use of temporary workers at an Indiana assembly plant, escalating the union’s fight against automaker’s plans to possibly shut down U.S. factories.
The lawsuit, submitted on Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Ohio, was the union’s first counter-move to automaker’s decision in late November to put five North American plants on notice for closure. The decision, which affects four U.S. plants including one in Warren, Ohio, drew the criticism from U.S. President Donald Trump and members of Congress.
The UAW, which is going to negotiate a new national labor deal with GM this year, has pledged to fight the cuts. The present labor contract was reached in 2015 and expires in September.
The union stated there are about 1,000 laid-off hourly workers that have the right to transfer to plants with openings, consisting of nearly 700 at the Lordstown plant in Ohio. GM is employing temporary workers at its Fort Wayne Assembly plant instead of moving workers, the UAW stated.
“UAW members negotiated a binding agreement and we expect General Motors to follow the contract they agreed to and GM members ratified,” UAW Vice President Terry Dittes stated.
In December, the UAW sent a letter to GM officially objecting to the decision to finish production in 2019 at four U.S. plants, adding it violates commitments made during the contract talks in 2015. “We will use all of our resources to enforce our agreements,” the union stated in the letter.