Former TPT workers at Jeep seek to reopen lawsuit against UAW, Fiat Chrysler
8 February 2018
A group of temporary part-time workers at the Fiat Chrysler Jeep complex in Toledo, Ohio are asking a judge to reexamine their lawsuit asserting that they were denied seniority and other rights by management and the United Auto Workers. The initiative is in response to the UAW corruption scandal and as sentiment among workers grows for the nullification of the labor agreements signed by the UAW.
An attorney for the workers says the recent plea deal by former FCA lead negotiator Alphons Iacobelli admitting the company paid $1.5 million in bribes to UAW officials to obtain favorable contract terms provides grounds for their case to be reopened. The US Court of Appeals is currently reviewing the lawsuit for the Sixth Circuit.
The case, Slight vs UAW Local 12, was filed on behalf of 34 temporary part-time (TPT) workers at the Jeep complex who were originally hired under the higher-paid Tier I wage. In March 2013, after a long delay, the workers were hired full-time by the company, but at the lower Tier II wage. The workers then filed a grievance through the UAW; however, the union’s review board quietly withdrew the grievances in January 2014. Workers were not notified of this fact until October 2014. As a result of this stab in the back the workers later filed a lawsuit against both management and the UAW.
The renewed action by the former TPT workers follows the launching of a lawsuit by a group of former workers at the Jeep Wrangler Paint Shop who were fired from their jobs in 2012, apparently as a result of a sweetheart deal between the UAW and FCA. Management had wanted to get rid of the workers in order to hire lower-paid replacements.