UAW wants temporary injunction granted to Deere & Co. vacated

Union also wants judge recused from further proceedings
Published: Oct. 26, 2021 at 9:11 PM CDT
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DAVENPORT, Iowa (KWQC) - Attorneys for striking UAW workers in Davenport are asking an Iowa judge to immediately vacate a temporary injunction she granted to Deere & Co. that limited the number of strikers, among other restrictions.

Des Moines-based attorneys Mark Hedberg and Nathaniel Boulton argued in a motion filed late Monday afternoon that Judge Marlita Greve granted the injunction “without notice, without a hearing, and based exclusively on information supplied by one party.”

They also argued in the motion that “the totality of evidence does not support the issuance of a temporary restraining order.”

On Tuesday, the attorneys filed a motion for the judge to be recused from further involvement in the case.

A hearing date on the motions was not immediately available.

Deere & Co. on Oct. 20 filed an 11-page petition, along with several exhibits, against the United Automobile, Aersospace and Agricultural Implement Workers of America Local Union 281 in Scott County District Court.

The company alleged in the petition that striking workers organized and carried out “confrontational, unlawful and trespassory protests,” which included disrupting business operations, blocking and impeding the flow of traffic to and from Davenport Works, verbal and physical harassment, intimidation, mass picketing and other indirect forms of violence and “unlawfulness.”

They also alleged the union blocked ingress and egress to parking lots and entrances at facilities and prevented or tried to prevent non-striking employees, customers, and suppliers from entering or exiting the Davenport facility.

The same day the petition was filed, Greve granted the temporary injunction and prohibited union members from picketing in groups larger than four at each gate at the facility, among other restrictions.

“Not surprisingly, given the one-sided submission of evidence and arguments, the order from the district court mirrored what the plaintiffs alleged as a basis for the order and the remedies sought,” the union’s attorneys wrote in the motion.

“The unfairness of a quick, one-sided curtailment of rights is precisely why the Iowa Court Rules and Iowa Supreme Court precedent provide safeguards for parties that are the target of these actions.”

The attorneys included an affidavit by Michael Mansker, chair of UAW Local 281, who said the union has taken “careful steps to ensure orderly pickets including posting rules about picketing and reviewing rules with members before they begin their picket duty.”

He also wrote in the affidavit that had received no notices of vehicles being blocked and prevented from entering or leaving any part of the facility and has not received any information about any specific incident of verbal harassment or threats, including vulgarities. On Oct. 10, the union rejected a proposed six-year collective bargaining agreement and has been in negotiations but has not agreed to a new contract as of Wednesday.

The union began to strike Oct. 14 and have continued to picket facilities, including Davenport Works.

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