GM asks court to intervene in United Auto Workers’ strikes

DETROIT (AP) — With losses mounting fast and no end in sight to a pair of crippling strikes, General Motors Corp. went to federal court Tuesday for help in breaking the impasse.
GM asked a judge to force the United Auto Workers into arbitation on the issue of whether the strikes are illegal. If an arbitrator ruled the walkouts illegal, GM could then have grounds to ask a judge for a back-to-work order against the strikers.
The request came as the world’s No. 1 automaker reported an 81 percent drop in second-quarter profits, largely because of the shutdown.
A hearing on the arbitration demand was scheduled for today.
In the meantime, it also asked for an injunction to order the 9,200 striking workers back to work and for unspecified damages, although the company said it is not pressing for immediate action on those requests.
The strikes at two parts plants in Flint have forced the shutdown of 25 assembly plants and more than 100 other factories across North America, idling about 175,000 workers and costing GM $1.2 billion in lost production since the first walkout began on June 5.
GM contends the strikes primarily involve involve capital investment and fundamental production issues that are covered by a no-strike clause in the UAW’s national contract. The UAW maintains the two strikes are primarily over local plant grievances involving health and safety and work rules.
Talks resumed at both plants Tuesday.