UAW members in 'jobs bank' lose options

Report by Colleen Wells

TOLEDO (WTOL) - UAW member Ruben Sauceda is on holiday break. But after receiving a letter, he found out he wasn't returning to work anytime soon.

It came Fed-x, overnight. The letter says all employees on protected status, or jobs bank, were not to report to work. Also, the employees would take a 15% pay cut, effective January 5.

"I don't know when I'll go back or anything like that. There is nothing on the paperwork telling we when I'd go back to work or nothing," says Sauceda.

Ruben is one of thousands of UAW members in jobs bank. Here's how it works.

If a plant doesn't have enough work for everyone, some UAW members can go into Jobs Bank where they get paid for 40 hours a week with or without work.

They can be relocated to another facility within 50 miles or they can make 85 percent of their pay without working.

The letter he received forces everyone in Jobs Bank into 85 percent. Sources within the local UAW leadership say the change is nationwide and means the elimination of jobs bank.

It is part of the restructuring that comes with government aid, although for Ruben and a lot of other UAW members, its coming as a surprise. "I was sorta shocked, figuring that we were getting help now, from the government, to where we weren't before. Now all of sudden we're getting help, and I'm not supposed to report to work."

For Ruben, this means a loss of about $500 a month. UAW sources say there is fear these jobs may be eliminated down the road - more uncertainty in the ever changing auto industry.