The UAW (United Auto Workers) union recently served GM (General Motors) with a fresh lawsuit because of its decision to make four US assembly plants idle.
In the lawsuit, the UAW claimed that GM had breached the 2015 contract with the union when it announced that two of the car plants in Ohio and Michigan (as well as two transmission plants in Michigan and Maryland) are set to be unallocated later in 2019. This term indicates that GM isn’t going to provide new products or projects for the plants to build after the end of this year. In 2015, GM did state that, as part of the agreement with the UAW for any new labor contracts, it could not idle, close, wholly or partially sell, split-off, spin-off, or dispose of in any form the facilities.
A Failsafe Clause
The statement in the contract was immediately followed by a failsafe for General Motors, reported Automotive News. The letter that was attached to the lawsuit further claimed that conditions could arise that are beyond the company’s control to make that commitment impossible. In the letter, GM specifically cited the market-related sales declines as one of many factors that could cause the company to idle its plants from the 2015 agreement.
Primarily, GM plans to idle any plants that build slow-selling cars in the US market. However, the plants that make crossover SUVs or pickup trucks for the US market remain unaffected.
Sometime in March, the Lordstown, Ohio plant is scheduled to stop producing cars, including the Chevrolet Cruze. Along with such, GM granted an extended production run for its Detroit plant that builds Cadillac and Chevrolet sedans.
Gary Jones, the UAW President, and Terry Dittes, the UAW Vice President claimed in Tuesday’s statement that they are going to do what is necessary to protect the union’s contractual rights. Its current labor agreement is set to expire on September 14, 2019, and GM must negotiate all four plant closures with the UAW.