1788 Green v. UAW – GM Department

Case No: 1788

2019

Green worked at the General Motors Kalamazoo Stamping Plant in the Weld Equipment Maintenance and Repair (“WEMR”) classification.  When the Kalamazoo Plant was scheduled to close, Green accepted transfer to GM’s Warren Powertrain Plant and entered a retraining program in the Machine Repair classification.   Green appeals the withdrawal of her grievance challenging the assignment of a new skilled trades date of entry following her transfer to the Warren plant and entry into the Machine Repair classification.  The Union determined that Green’s grievance lacked a contractual basis because her transfer from the WEMR classification to Machine Repair was not part of a transfer of work elements or the transfer of enough work to qualify as a consolidation. Ordinarily, the Union’s application of agreement terms to the facts in this case would be controlling because the PRB lacks jurisdiction to review the Union’s official collective bargaining policy, which includes the interpretation of agreements.  However, Green also asserted that the agreement interpretation was part of an unwritten scheme designed to maintain the traditionally white and male population within the skilled trades classifications at the Warren Powertrain plant.  Accordingly, the PRB sought additional information regarding the placement of skilled trades members at the plant, including a break-down by race and gender.  This further review established that Green’s circumstances are unique.  She was the only member to transfer and enter a skilled trades classification where she had not already established seniority.  To the extent that Green is also asserting that the effects of past discrimination against minorities and women should be considered in determining how seniority is determined, that is not an issue that can be addressed by means of a grievance.  The issue requires an evaluation of the UAW’s collective bargaining policy which is beyond the jurisdiction of the PRB.  The development of such policy changes lies within the power of the membership.