In a case that dates back to April 30, 2011, General Motors and the United Auto Workers are being sued by 28 employees at GM’s Lordstown, Ohio plant that builds the Chevrolet Cruze. The employees say that when they were hired in October, 2006 they were improperly classified as temporary workers. They were let go six months later, in April, 2007, but then rehired six months after that.
When they were rehired, the workers say they were classified as and paid the same wages as permanent employees with seniority. But in June, 2008 the 28 workers say they were forced to accept being reclassified as temporary workers and take a 40-percent pay cut or be terminated. The attorney for the workers says they should have been paid at the higher rate the entire time. Also, the 28 employees say there were another 22 temporary employees hired at the same time as they were and who were able to earn permanent status, pay and benefits. The employees say the change in pay violated the collective bargaining agreement and that the UAW refused to file a grievance for them. The workers are suing for back pay of between $3 and $4 million, as well as permanent positions and benefits.
GM and the UAW have denied wrongdoing and filed a motion for summary judgment, which would have ended the case. GM hasn’t commented, but the UAW claims that the employees didn’t exhaust their means of internal resolution and that they filed the case after the end of the statute of limitations had run out. The motion was denied by Judge Benita Pearson, so the case will continue.