TOLEDO (WTVG) - She's the head of one of America's biggest companies and she was in Toledo Tuesday. GM CEO Mary Barra spent time with some of the employees at the Toledo Transmission plant.
According to the head of the union that represents the men and women at the plant, the main focus of Barra's visit was to talk about the state of business and to connect directly with the workforce. He says the employees he talked with about the visit appreciated the chance to speak with some of their leaders.
Barra was at the Toledo Transmission plant Tuesday morning meeting with dozens of employees over the course of a couple hours.
Dennis Earl is the head of UAW Local 14,"The meeting went well. Mary opened up with her commitment to manufacturing in the United States and her commitment to Toledo."
Barra was joined by Alicia Boler Davis, who is the Global Head of Manufacturing. Earl says workers were randomly chosen from all aspects of the plant's operation to take part in the meetings, "They talked to employees who are hourly and salaried. They had two meetings of about sixty employees in each session."
Earl says employees were able to ask the CEO questions, "We had a lot of good questions and she was open to any question. People did ask about plant closings and other issues and she was very open and forthright with the information."
Earl says she also talked about incidents inside the Toledo plant involving racist graffiti and nooses. In an email sent to us by GM a company spokesman says Barra and Boler Davis both reaffirmed that "GM has zero tolerance for intimidating behavior and that every claim of harassment and discrimination is taken seriously and dealt with accordingly." They both went on to say that the bad actions of one or a few do not represent the people at Toledo Transmission.
Earl says the UAW won't tolerate this behavior either and has this message about the incidents, "If you see something, if you know something, speak up so we can stop this and catch the people who are perpetrating that."
A GM spokesman says it's important to point out that Barra's stop in Toledo was not prompted by the racist activity at the plant or the related lawsuit that has been filed by some employees. He says high-level leaders like Barra make regular visits to GM plants, and this stop was part of that practice.
After her time in Toledo, Barra went to the GM plant in Romulus, Michigan on Tuesday.