Your union should be handling this matter for you. That's one of the things you've been paying them for.
A lawsuit based on this policy is possible, as a contractual breach.
If your union fails to help you, it may be a good idea to get two or three consultations from employment attorneys in your area. They're going to have a better idea of your local jury pool better than I can. If you have local jurors who favor employees over employer, you have a better chance for success in court than the other way around.
If you don't still live in ND, let me know where you are, if you'd like me to send you links to organizations of attorneys.
Another way to get an attorney is through references from friends, etc.
Remember, don't actually HIRE an attorney without first checking references. And don't try to pick the attorney's brain on the phone. Schedule an appointment and visit the office, like you would for a doctor!
But do try your union first. If you already have, and the union did nothing, bring that to the attorney's attention, because you may also have a claim against the union.
Meanwhile, two things to do.
1. Look for other jobs, and keep a running list of every place you applied, and the date. This could help you receive damages if this ever goes to court.
2. Sit down and write out a chronological list of what happened at work, starting with your application date, Just a date followed by one sentence. Write "approximately" whenever you are not sure of the date. Sign and date this list. Make sure it's as accurate as possible, since this could be used as evidence itself. Do this sooner rather than later, because memories fade.
Please let me know if I can be of any further help. If not, please click on "accept."
Good luck to you,
Jane Doe Deer