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February 6, 2019
Gerald Johnson

Vice President North America Manufacturing and Labor Relations

GM Global Technical Center

30745 Louis Chevrolet Road PPO North, Floor 02

Warren, Michigan 48093-2350 USA

Dear Mr. Johnson,

I appreciate you proactively reaching out to schedule time to meet with my Chief of Staff, Katy Crosby, and me to discuss the situation at the Toledo General Motors Powertrain plant. As discussed in our meeting, I share your concern of the damage this does to the reputation of a well-respected company. As the Mayor of Toledo, I am concerned that the attention creates the wrong perception of our community as well.

We want all who live, work, and visit Toledo to feel welcomed, as I am sure you want the same for your organization. It is refreshing to know that the new plant leadership that arrived within the last year “pounds the pavement” and makes an intentional effort to engage employees. I am also pleased to learn of the immediate actions taken to address the situation, which include:

• an immediate investigation into the situation.
• retraining human resources professionals and employees on how to respond to allegations of discrimination and hate incidents.
• ensuring employees are aware of the available resources and mechanisms to report concerns to include anonymous reporting.
• a bi-annual AGI workplace culture survey with a follow up action plan to respond to results.
• engaging Crime Stoppers to provide a $25,000 reward.

As I shared during our meeting, the city of Toledo is no stranger to incidents of hate and discrimination. In fact, shortly after I became Mayor, I had to respond to an incident with our employees. As a result, we administered a citywide employee engagement survey to understand the concerns of all 2,700 employees. With a 40% response rate that well represented the diversity of our workforce, we were able to capture the concerns of our employees, and we are working diligently to address those concerns. This includes hiring a well-respected chief diversity officer and ensuring we are committing the necessary resources to ensure a healthy workplace culture. We recognize employees who feel valued and respected at work will provide better services to our citizens.

GM has been one of our top employers and an economic driver in our city for many years. We appreciate the contribution you have made to our community. I believe we have a mutual interest to use this as an opportunity to let your employees, as well as, our residents and visitors, know that we are committed to a diverse, inclusive and welcoming work environment.


It is my hope that we can support one another in this endeavor by sharing ongoing and intentional efforts that support a “no tolerance” approach toward discriminatory behavior. I look forward to hearing from you and working with you to ensure Toledo is a great place for GM, your employees, and our residents.


Mayor Wade Kapszukiewicz



Copyright © 2019 by [The Sojourner's Truth]. All rights reserved.
Revised: 02/14/19 07:44:10 -0500.

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