A fire at the United Auto Workers office in Detroit has forced the worker’s union to delay a legal proceeding against General Motors.
The union had planned to file a lawsuit against GM for violating the terms of its agreement, which alleged GM did not transfer unionized employees from the now-shuttered Lordstown Assembly facility to its Fort Wayne Assembly plant in Indiana and instead elected to use non-unionized, temporary part-time workers.
The lawsuit was filed in Youngstown, Ohio, but a judge put the case on hold this week due to the union’s inability to present the proper legal documents. It’s not clear if the relevant documents were lost in the fire, or if the union is simply unable to access them at the time due to the office closure. It’s not clear when the UAW will be able to present the court with the files, either, but the case has been delayed until at least September.
After announcing that it would close four US plants late last year, GM has been offering some workers transfers to other plants located out-of-state. It is believed the automaker is also looking to reduce the number of unionized employees on its payroll, however, and will rely on more temp workers in a bid to cut back on healthcare and benefits costs.
GM and the UAW are currently undergoing contract negotiations, as well, with the issue of temp workers expected to be a hot topic in the discussions. The UAW’s labor contract with the Detroit Big Three automakers is set to expire in September.