The allegations within the 143-page lawsuit include gross sexual harassment, attempted rape, racial discrimination, as well as retaliation against more than 30 women. The allegations include but are not limited to:
- “Unwanted or unwelcome sexual advances;
- Unwelcome and unwanted touching;
- Requests for sexual favors;
- Stories of sexual conquests, desires or escapades;
- Comments about the female anatomy;
- Comments about individual women’s body parts;
- Comments about what a male “would like to do” to or with a particular female sexually;
- Comments of a sexually suggestive nature,
- Name calling using names demeaning toward women such as “bitch”, “slut” or “whore” or “hoe”;
- Graffiti and/or pornography images;
- Pictures of genitalia and/or of a sexual nature
- Lurid, foul and offensive language, and/or
- Other conduct of a sexually inappropriate nature for the workplace.”
While the above is a mere “tip of the iceberg” of the many allegations found in the suit (full version here and embedded below), some questions must be raised:
- Since the 4,000 workers in the plant are represented by the United Auto Workers, where was the UAW while all of the egregious behavior was going on?
- If the allegations are true, doesn’t the UAW bear some culpability by its failure to adequately (and fairly) represent the women who were subjected to this behavior?
- Or, was the UAW in on it?
The answer may, in part, come from within the text of the lawsuit itself:
[Ford employee and union Building Chairman] Coby Millender repeatedly touched, grabbed and tried to kiss Miyoshi Morris and numerous similarly situated women even though they did not want to be touched.
And, as well…
Ford employee and union Building Chairman Coby Millender told approximately 200 union members that Plaintiff was the complainer who had “filed a sexual harassment lawsuit against Ford.”
After these two incidents in which both Ford and the Union Chairperson, Millender disclosed Plaintiff as being the “complainer,” she experienced numerous anonymous acts of vandalism in her work area and lunch area depicting penises/phalluses and testicles, all meant to mock Plaintiff and make her feel even more harassed and humiliated.
So far, Ford has replaced all of the top managers at the plant, as well as suspended the UAW chairman.
However, the UAW is fighting the suspension.
The UAW has filed a grievance challenging his suspension. He remains plant chairperson, the elected leader of the union’s bargaining team.
“The UAW and Ford Motor Co. share a strong commitment towards eliminating sexual harassment and discrimination, of any form, in the workplace,” UAW-Ford Vice President Jimmy Settles (pictured above) said in a prepared statement. “Such conduct is unacceptable, it is not tolerated and there are policies in place to prevent such from occurring.”
Apparently, if the lawsuit’s allegations are true, the policies Mr. Settles referred to are not working.
One must also wonder why the UAW was not named as a co-defendent in the suit. Or, is that next?