Federal Judge Benita Pearson has ruled that 28 workers employed at the General Motors Lordstown, Ohio assembly plant — which builds the Chevrolet Cruze — may continue their lawsuit against both GM and the United Auto Workers, along with UAW Local 1112. Allegations consiste of the workers being wrongly classified as temporary employees, claiming they were wrongly terminated in April 2007, before being rehired six months after the fact.
The dicey part is that the workers claim to have been paid the same wages as permanent employees with seniority when they were rehired. While it’s not immediately clear, it’s easy to assume that this means their pay may have equated to that of a Tier 1 UAW worker. Not long after, the 28 workers claim they were forced to accept being reclassified under temporary worker status, and thereby having to take a 40 percent slash in wages, or be terminated again. What’s more, the workers state that there was a separate group of 22 temporary workers that were hired during the same time period and were able to earn and keep permanent status, wages, and benefits.
As a result, the 28 employees are suing for around $3-4 million in back-pay, as well as restoration of their permanent senior work status. They claim that the pay change violated the UAW’s collective bargaining agreement at the time, and that the union refused to file a grievance on their behalf.
The suit was originally filed in April 2012, with court documents showing that both GM and the UAW denied the allegations. Autoblog writes that GM reportedly hasn’t commented on the matter, but the UAW claims that the 28 employees didn’t fully exhaust their means of internal resolution, and that the case had been filed after the end of the statute of limitations had run out.