An Ohio court issued a restraining order that restricts UAW picketing at a Toledo area battery plant the union struck last week.
More than 400 UAW workers went on strike a week ago at Clarios' battery plant in Holland, Ohio, a suburb of Toledo. The strike began in response to failed negotiations about overtime pay and other concerns.
The plant supplies batteries to automotive assembly lines at Ford Motor Co. and General Motors. So far, there have been no reports of production disruptions.
The Lucas County Court of Common Pleas issued the restraining order Friday to prevent pickets from disrupting business operations and creating unsafe conditions on the picket line, a spokesperson for Clarios said. A temporary restraining order was first issued Thursday evening, then extended after a Friday morning hearing.
“Using the courts as a weapon against working people standing up for their rights is extremely disrespectful,” David Green, UAW Region 2B director, said in a statement Monday. “Clarios doesn’t need a judge to help them end this dispute – they need to come back to the bargaining table with a serious offer that our members can accept.”
Court documents show Clarios presented evidence of a UAW picket laying on the pavement in front of the plant as evidence of dangerous activity.
The restraining order prevents pickets from congregating in groups of more than five within 100 feet of any plant entrance. Pickets may not be on Clarios' property or approach within five feet of vehicles entering or exiting the plant. Pickets may not in any way obstruct the plant entrances and must remain upright and standing, the order says.
The UAW bargaining committee will sit down with the company again on Tuesday, Green told Automotive News earlier on Monday. "Our members deserve better. They expect a fair contract because they give their lives to the company daily."
Said a Clarios spokesperson: "We're still optimistic that we can reach an agreement. However, while the dispute is ongoing it is critically important that everyone maintain professionalism both on-site and on the picket line — even more so given the emotions which are always in play in any labor dispute. For that reason, we are grateful the court took the action it did for the company, our employees and the community."
Clarios, based in Milwaukee and formerly part of Johnson Controls Inc., ranks No. 75 on Automotive News' list of the top 100 global parts suppliers, with estimated worldwide sales to automakers of $2.5 billion in its 2021 fiscal year.