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United Against Women? Where was the UAW when gross sexual harassment was going on?

UAW Ford Partnership
There is a long and disturbing class-action lawsuit that has been filed against Ford Motor Company at its Chicago assembly and stamping plants. The fact that Ford’s 4,000 employees (of which more than 1,000 are women) at the two plants are represented by the United Auto Workers raises additional troublesome questions.

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:

  1. 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?
  2. 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?
  3. 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?

Ford Sexual Harrassment Class Action Suit by LaborUnionReport.com

Image credit.

5 comments

  • I am in agreeement the IUAW should be co defendnats as well. I personally complaibed to Mr. Settles in person August 2013.

  • All the women’s fail on death ears. These UAW leader are horrible. The company and the union are working together too make sure all complaint go un answer. No civil rights available in the hunted house, called Chicago Assembliy. I sent out muiltable emial begging for help. I ended up homeless sleeping in my car because I wouldn’t sleep with a Co worker or my supervisor.

  • The UAW building Chairman told me in 2012, if I drop my EEOC charges against Ford Motor Company, they would move me out my department away from my harasser in 24 hours. I have also filed muiltable charges with the labor board sense 2013 Nothing was ever done. The women’s in Ford Motor Company need help, our union leaders are against us and has been for the last decade. None of the women’s too this day haven’t received any support form our experience we each has endured from Ford and the UAW, and Mr. Coby UAW Leader recieved a grievance in 30 minutes. They help there union leader but not the women’s that’s hurting from violation and humiliation for the last decade. UAW None us are your daughter, sister, or niece but we still members and we are human beings and we needed your help like you helped Coby the UAW Leader.

  • I’m still going through the harassment by an appointment UAW official. He happens to be my former brother in law and thinks he’s above the law. He has a recorded history (read rap sheet) of violence towards women and family members and the union and company turned a blind eye to this. I had to leave that facility and transfer to another one. Now he follows me in public.

  • This is all beyond disturbing, the fact w fact that if you are not a family member wmember your complaints and sexual harassment complaints get hidden and swept under rug. I also continue to hear coworkers who state being family don’t mean a thing of you NOT sleeping with the m or performing sexual favors,for the UAW. Disgusting. We as women are being raped emotionally, physically, mentally, and financially. This is a joke of a DOOMION, more like a vindictive cult with a heartless leader, who will sweep it all under the rug and try to clean it up to the media with a lying tongue. No wonder the camp has gained corruption, because it’s at the top. Now we have a new face,introducing the New Mr Clean, Jimmy Settles. God Bless this mess.

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