GM To Pay $8 Million In 2019 Plant Closure Arbitration Ruling

The United Auto Workers (UAW) labor union has announced that roughly 800 GM workers will split $8 million in back pay as the result of an arbitration ruling over three General Motors plant closures. The ruling was reached in September, but announced this week in a letter to union members. The UAW says that the arbitration ruling awarded nearly all of the compensation that the union had sought.

According to a recent report from Automotive News, the compensation details were outlined by UAW-GM Vice President Mike Booth, who said that workers will receive compensation for lost overtime, performance bonuses, 401(k) / pension contributions, and almost $800,000 in interest.

Back in September, the arbitration ruled that General Motors’ decision in 2019 to close the Lordstown, Ohio plant, Baltimore, Maryland transmission plant, and Warren, Michigan plant violated Document 13 of the 2015 contract between the UAW and the automaker. The contract stipulates that General Motors was barred from closing, idling, selling-off, or otherwise disposing any plants during the term of the agreement, which ended in September of 2019.

General Motors argued that it had not violated the contract as it “unallocated” product at the three plants in question, rather than closing or idling the plants. The UAW sued the automaker in response to the closure of the three plants, but agreed to drop the lawsuit in favor of arbitration following the UAW’s tentative agreement with General Motors in October of 2019.

“The arbitrator awarded nearly everything the UAW sought as a remedy for GM’s breach,” UAW-GM VP Booth wrote in a letter to union members. Although the UAW secured most of the compensation sought, the arbitration dismissed “mutually satisfactory retirement benefits,” as the arbitration was unable to rule on that particular issue.

Meanwhile, in a statement, General Motors said that the company was “pleased with the arbitrator’s decision related to the mutually satisfactory retirement benefits,” adding that “no further legal action” was planned with regard to the Document 13 arbitration ruling.

Last month, the UAW ratified its latest labor contract with General Motors following a six-week strike said to have cost the automaker more than $1 billion in lost production.

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Jonathan Lopez: Jonathan is an automotive journalist based out of Southern California. He loves anything and everything on four wheels.

View Comments (6)

  • I try to not buy Union produced items… which isn’t hard because usually they are easier to find, cheaper, and better made.

  • Who does this apply to specifically? There were still well over 1000 employees at Lordstown and this covers 800 people at three plants?

  • This puts a spotlight on the blatant violation of agreements General Motors and Mary Barra made with her employees and the taxpayers of the state of Ohio. GM tried to cheat, mislead and double talk multiple plant closings. Absolutely unethical and immoral behavior by Barra and GM. Apparently it is somehow legal to cheat your employees.
    As an ex GM Lordstown employee I can add that this payment only covers part and not all of its employees I and many others are somehow not included. Somehow in the double talk agreements hundreds have been left out of this payment.
    Go to hel Mary.