US Appeals Court acknowledges UAW lied to Toledo Jeep workers
30 March 2018
In a ruling March 21 the United States Court of Appeals Sixth Circuit acknowledged that the United Auto Workers (UAW) had denied due process to a group of workers at Fiat Chrysler’s Jeep complex in Toledo, Ohio involved in a lawsuit over the squelching of their grievance. The suit was brought by a group of former temporary part time (TPT) workers at the Jeep complex who asserted that they were denied seniority and other rights by management and the UAW.
The case further demonstrates the reactionary role played by the unions and indeed the whole system of US labor relations in denying workers their elementary rights, even those supposedly protected by contract agreements.
The court asserted, in opposition to the claims of the UAW to the contrary, that the union constitution permits the reinstatement in certain cases of grievances even after they are withdrawn. In the case, Slight vs UAW Local 12, workers are seeking the raising of their pay to Tier I level and back pay. The workers saw their pay slashed from Tier I to the substantially lower Tier II level when they were converted to full-time status after a long delay in 2013. They also lost all their accrued seniority amounting to six years per worker.
In a related case, former workers at the Toledo Jeep paint shop filed a lawsuit against the UAW and FCA over their firing in 2012. The workers claimed they were let go as part of a sweetheart deal to bring in lower paid replacements, in fact the same former Jeep TPT workers involved in the Slight lawsuit.
The former TPT workers found themselves in a Kafkaesque position after filing a grievance challenging the decision by management to hire them as full time workers at the lower…