TOLEDO, Ohio (AP) – A group of General Motors workers in northeast Ohio who say they were wrongly hit with a pay cut can move forward with a lawsuit against the automaker and the United Auto Workers.
Nearly 30 workers at GM’s Lordstown factory argue that they were improperly classified as temporary employees after losing their jobs and then being rehired.
The union and company’s request to dismiss the lawsuit was turned down late last week. U.S. District Judge Benita Pearson rejected their claim that too much time had passed and that most of the workers had not gone through the union’s appeal process.
The workers at the Lordstown plant where GM makes the Chevy Cruze said in the lawsuit that they have been improperly classified as temporary employees since being hired in October 2006.
They lost their jobs in the spring of 2007 and were brought back six months later. The workers were briefly paid the same wage as permanent employees, but the lawsuit argues that they were reclassified as temporary workers in June 2008.
The workers said the change in classification cut their pay by more than 40 percent. They are seeking back pay of $3 million to $4 million.
They also charge that the union didn’t stick up for them and refused to file a grievance.
Both the union and the company have denied the allegations in court documents. A local union official at the Lordstown plant where GM makes the Chevy Cruze has said that the workers weren’t misrepresented.
Tom Mock, communications manager for the Lordstown plant, declined to comment Thursday.
A lawyer for the workers, Ken Myers, said it’s possible that the lawsuit could pave the way for workers at other auto plants who have been forced into two-tier wage systems. But many wouldn’t be able to sue because of time restrictions, he said.
Still, he has heard from other workers in a handful of states. “There are other potential lawsuits brewing,” Myers said.
The lawsuit filed by the northeast Ohio workers in May 2011 said the Detroit-based General Motors Co. violated collective bargaining agreements reached between the company and the UAW in 2003 and 2007.
(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)
- Stretches and exercises for carpal tunnel syndrome
- The best Major League ballparks have their own personality
- Comparing the best regular seasons: The '96 Bulls and '16 Warriors
- 3 Arizona road trips and the vehicles to get you there
- Colon cancer is preventable. Check these signs and symptoms to stay healthy.
- 6 of the biggest skin cancer myths
- Affordable small home makeover ideas
- Locals helping locals: 6 success stories you need to know about
- Sunscreen facts that could save your life
- 6 energy saving hacks for your home
- 5 tips for choosing a company to end your timeshare
- Overlooked water tips to save you money
- 5 of the most adored gentlemen in professional sports today
- The real danger of sitting at your desk
- Most surprising NBA playoff performances of the last 40 years
- 11 classic baseball movies you must see again
- Finally getting rid of fat: 3 methods that actually work
- 4 reasons cancer survivors should focus on food
- 5 spring cleaning spots everyone forgets
- 5 reasons to look forward to watching the D-backs this season
- Common virus attributed to spike in head and neck cancers
- 5 signs it’s time to end your timeshare ownership
- 3 most overlooked ways to keep your home healthy
- 6 ways the air in your home could be making you sick
- CrossFit dangers: 5 common injuries and how to deal with them
- Today's radiation treatments offer better success, fewer side effects
- Tips to make watching TV on the patio even better
- What really happens when you donate to a community college?
- Sun and skin cancer: Separating fact from fiction
- 5 critical lifestyle changes for a healthy colon