A West Virginia University law professor says General Motors has “a high burden” to prove that its announced plant closings in Ohio, Michigan, Maryland and Ontario are because of conditions it cannot control. Anne Marie Lofaso, who specializes in labor law, says the plant closings are the antithesis of GM’s latest collective bargaining agreement with the United Auto Workers; the agreement said GM will not close or idle any plant, asset, or business unit of any type other than those which have already been identified.
“In justifying its decision, GM is relying on a separate paragraph in that same agreement where the parties acknowledge that ‘conditions may arise that are beyond the control of the Company, (i.e. market related volume decline, act of God), and could make compliance with this commitment impossible.’ GM has a high burden to show that its commitment to the job security of thousands of American workers is “impossible” to keep. In the meantime, GM will have to negotiate with the UAW over the effects of that decision.”
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