Nooses & ‘Whites Only’ Signs Hang In GM Plant
…disciplinary hearing with a union official and business leader where he freely admitted what he had said, Boyd recalled. But then Boyd himself was pulled aside and advised to let the matter go if he wanted to get along at the plant, he said. No disciplinary action was taken, Boyd said.
Boyd and other workers of color learned there was a coded language to talk about them, according to the lawsuit. White employees kept calling them “Dan.” They thought some people didn’t respect them enough to learn their names. But other colleagues told them it was a slur, an acronym for “dumb ass nigger.”
The N-word was a regular part of life at Toledo Powertrain, where components are made for various Chevrolet, Buick, GMC and Cadillac vehicles, Boyd said. A white woman seen walking with him later found “Nigger lover” written on her pizza box.
When Boyd and others reported the abuse, their leadership told them to handle it themselves, he said.
Even more violent situations were brushed away. Boyd said he feared for his life when a member of his team, irate about a vacation request, yelled and raised a heavy, metal clutch assembly as if he was going hit him.
Boyd said he reported it. This time the offender was punished by losing one day’s salary. “One day!” Boyd repeated, frustrated. For what felt like a direct threat to his life. One swing with that clutch could have been deadly, Boyd said. He said he believes there’s a simple reason why.
“You have management people in high places, and union officials in high places, that work together to protect people … that are white,” Boyd said.
‘Like being at war’
It got to the point where Boyd began asking God to protect him.
“I used to have to pray. Literally, ‘Lord protect me,'” Boyd said.
“It was like being at war,” he added.
Derrick Brooks found a noose hanging in his area that he believed was directed at him.
He said he and another black supervisor, Derrick Brooks, who was a former Marine, treated their workplace almost like…