UAW sues GM to keep Lordstown and two other plants open


By David Skolnick

skolnick@vindy.com

LORDSTOWN

The United Auto Workers union filed a federal lawsuit against General Motors, accusing the automaker of breaching a labor contract with its plans to shut down three plants, including the one in Lords-town.

In the lawsuit filed Tuesday in the U.S. District Court for Northern Ohio, the UAW seeks to have the court rescind its decision to close the three facilities.

The union contends in the lawsuit that GM violated the parties’ “plant closing and sale moratorium” letter agreement, which prohibits the company from “closing or idling any plant during the terms of the collective bargaining agreement.”

GM unallocated plants in Lordstown as well as Warren, Mich., and White Marsh, Md.

The Lordstown plant is to end production March 8. The 53-year-old facility employs about 1,500 workers and produces the Chevrolet Cruze.

The Maryland plant is to end production May 3, and the one in Michigan is to stop production Aug. 1.

The lawsuit states “unallocated” is “a synonym for ‘closed’ or ‘idled,’ which would be a violation of the collective bargaining agreement. That agreement runs from Oct. 25, 2015, until Sept. 14 of this year.

Dave Green, president of the UAW Local 1112 in Lordstown, said, “Our international union is taking the steps necessary to protect the working people here and at the other locations.”

In a joint statement, UAW President Gary Jones and Vice President Terry Dittes said: “For UAW members in GM Warren Transmission Operations, GM Lordstown Assembly and in the GM GPS Baltimore plant in Maryland, the UAW is determined to leave no stone unturned to make sure that their contractual rights are honored. The UAW believes that General Motors is in breach of the 2015 collective bargaining terms.”

Meanwhile, U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown on Tuesday blasted President Donald Trump for remarks Monday in which the Republican president said: “We have car companies opening in Michigan and Ohio and Pennsylvania and so many other places.”

Brown, a Cleveland Democrat, said: “The president makes lots of big promises but has failed to stand up for autoworkers time and time again. His comments are a slap in the face to Lordstown workers.”

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