A federal judge in Youngstown has placed a hold on the UAW's lawsuit against General Motors over job transfer rights of employees laid-off from Lordstown Assembly Complex and other plants.

U.S. District Judge Benita Pearson on Monday "administratively closed" until further notice, the UAW's lawsuit that was filed after GM announced it would stop production of the Chevy Cruze in Lordstown. 

Union attorneys say they cannot currently meet GM's demands for information about the UAW's case because of a July 13 fire at the International Union's headquarters in Detroit.

The union has said the fire originated in the UAW's legal department preventing union attorneys from accessing paper records that may be needed in the case.

The lawsuit revolves around union claims that while GM refused requests by laid-off Lordstown workers to transfer to GM's pickup truck plant in Fort Wayne, Indiana, the company continued using temporary non-union workers at the Indiana plant.

The union claims that GM is in violation of a memorandum of understanding with the UAW allowing GM to hire temporary employees from May 31, 2018, through August 31, 2018, to support the launch of a new pickup truck.

The union and GM have both said that the future of the now-idled Lordstown assembly plant would be among the issues discussed during contract bargaining. now underway in Detroit.

A telephone conference is scheduled in the case for September 9, just five days before the current UAW-GM contract expires.

It is not uncommon for labor lawsuits like this to become an issue in contract negotiations.

Judge Pearson has not ruled on General Motor's motion to submit the issues in the suit to arbitration. That motion is opposed by the UAW.