The UAW and GM have worked together for many years to understand and promote diversity in the workplace, a goal we absolutely agree on and are fully committed to. The UAW membership and the GM workforce are diverse groups, which is beneficial to both organizations. Diversity encompasses all of us, regardless of race or gender. It includes many dimensions: age, family status, culture, language, physical abilities, religion, sexual orientation, union, non-union, military status, just to name a few. Diversity is a positive asset to an organization because only by leveraging our diversity will we be able to achieve the kind of relationship that we know is necessary if General Motors is to prosper and provide good jobs that allow employees, both union-represented and salaried, to be secure in today's complicated world.
Within the UAW-GM structure, diversity is key to creating an environment in which everyone can contribute to the best of his or her ability without fear or retribution. Practicing diversity is a constant challenge because it means recognizing and abandoning old thoughts, behaviors and pre-conceived notions.
We in leadership - both union and management - can help create the conditions for the proper environment by listening and establishing avenues that encourage input in the work process from every individual. We all have something to contribute and equally important, we all have something to gain when everyone is allowed to contribute.