Workers at General Motors’ powertrain plant in Toledo, Ohio underwent civil rights training this week after the automaker became the target of multiple lawsuits alleging racial harassment, reports Automotive News. The training was administered by the office of State Attorney General David Yost. A total of 1,700 employees were expected to attend one of nine sessions scheduled for this past Thursday and Friday.
Reportedly, a minimum of three separate lawsuits have been filed against the company alleging, among other things, an "underlying atmosphere of violent racial hate and bullying" at the Ohio facility. One lawsuit launched by nine former workers says nooses and "whites-only" bathroom signs were found in the building and that they were subjected to racial slurs, bullying, and even planned violence. And it isn't just employees of color who have been the target of racially charged idiocy either. One anecdote saw a white woman who was apparently seen walking with a black employee finding the words "n****r lover" scrawled on her pizza box. The suit goes on to accuse management of looking the other way so that employees would "get along."
From Attorney General Yost:
"The best way to keep these jobs here in Ohio is to do a good job and respect your coworker. Treat the people in your workplace with dignity. Exercise humility and do your part to make sure that everyone goes to work in a place with mutual respect and safety."
It doesn't sound like GM is done with the sensitivity training, however, as a spokesperson told Automotive News that the sessions this past week were only "the latest in a series of training activities expanding GM's commitment to maintaining a safe, open and inclusive work environment."
General Motors isn't the only American automaker appearing to have a race problem within assembly plant walls. Nooses have apparently been found in Fiat Chrysler's Ram factory in Sterling Heights, Michigan while ex-Tesla workers say the EV maker's Fremont, California facility is a "hostile work environment" for African Americans.