The Toledo Blade reported earlier this week GM CEO Mary Barra and other top executives made an unannounced visit to the company’s troubled Toledo Transmission Plant where several racist and despicable incidents have occurred since 2017. GM Global Head of Manufacturing Alicia Boler-Davis also joined Barra on the visit where they met with the plant’s 1,722 workers. Both made clear during their meeting that any racism at the factory “would not be tolerated.”
News of these racist incidents occurring broke last year when nine African American employees filed a lawsuit against the automaker for failing to act when a string of racist incidents happened in the spring of 2017. An investigation by the Ohio State Civil Rights Commission ruled “GM engaged in unlawful discriminatory practices”—a conclusion the automaker disagreed with.
The plaintiffs filed the lawsuit last April but amended it in September after the OCRC commission concluded several investigations into the racist allegations. The findings and accusations are disgusting. The OCRC discovered no fewer than three instances where nooses were found in the plant. The OCRC also found incidents of nooses, swastikas, White-Only signs, ethnic slurs, and racial jokes inside the factory.
While combating racism was a crucial part of the trip for the GM executives, it was not the only reason for why they visited. The plant is set to launch two new transmission, and, according to UAW Local 14 President Dennis Earl, Mary Barra and Alicia Boler-Davis were also there to show support for the plant.
However, that doesn’t mean Mary Barra and GM aren’t trying to get to the bottom of the racist incidents. Last month, GM offered a $25,000 reward to anyone who has relevant information about the racist nooses and graffiti discovered in the factory. The company wants to catch whoever is the perpetrator and put a stop to the racism at the factory.