A product designer at DaimlerChrysler‘s Chrysler unit has reportedly filed a complaint with the National Labour Relations Board against the United Auto Workers, claiming the union failed to inform its members that Chrysler had a right to cut jobs.


A Dow Jones report said that, in a complaint filed on March 1, James Edwards said unpublished letters between the union and Chrysler gave the carmaker the right to initiate job cuts but Edwards said those agreements weren’t disclosed before union members voted to ratify a four-year job contract in 2003.


Citing The Detroit News, Dow Jones said a September 2003 letter from John Franciosi, Chrysler’s senior vice president for employee relations, to UAW vice president Nate Gooden, talks about trimming 400 design engineering jobs over four years to allow the carmaker to “utilise scarce capital more efficiently and provide the corporation with a competitive advantage.”


The company and union would work together to “redeploy” about 80 employees into different jobs, the letter reportedly said.


Stephen Glasser, Detroit’s regional director of the NLRB, reportedly said in an interview that the agency hopes to have the investigation wrapped up by May.


If the NLRB finds that the UAW was in violation, he said some possible remedies could include making the letter public and posting a letter for 60 days telling union members they will be granted access to documents they request, the Dow Jones report added.