A lawsuit has been filed by a group of auto workers in Lordstown, Ohio, against General Motors Co. and the UAW, asserting that GM refused them full pay and benefits and the union had failed to represent and support them. The lawsuit was filed last Saturday in the U.S. District Court in the Northern District of Ohio.
These 28 workers claimed that they were wrongly classified as temporary employees. As a result, they lost pay and benefits that they would have been entitled to under collective bargaining agreements between GM and the UAW.
In a Reuters’ interview, the workers’ attorney Kenneth Myers said that they are demanding $3 million to $4 million in back pay.
The complaint stated that the plaintiffs were hired as temporary workers and they were later terminated in April 2007. Six months after, they were rehired and they received the same wage as the staff workers for a brief period. In June 2008, GM management called these workers individually and forced them to sign a document that classified them as temporary workers.
These agreements resulted to pay cuts of over 40% for most. The lawsuit stated that the union fell short in its obligation to look into the agreements and file a grievance against GM for pressuring the workers to sign the agreements or else they will be terminated.