Nightmare odyssey of an American autoworker
A Chrysler worker’s 15-year fight to win her job back
14 December 2018
This is the story of Cordella Minney, an American autoworker treated like a modern-day slave by Chrysler management, the United Auto Workers union and the American legal system.
A mother of two and grandmother to four, Cordella was born and grew up in Indianapolis, Indiana in a family of 11 children, nine sisters and two brothers. Her parents both worked to support the large household—her father as a taxi driver and her mother as a nurse’s assistant.
Chrysler hired Cordella in 1996 to a job as a part-time worker at the Indianapolis Foundry where she later became full-time. As a result of her employment with Chrysler she was able to purchase her first home and her first car.
However, her life soon took a drastic turn. After courageously speaking out against sexual harassment by a Fiat Chrysler supervisor in the workplace, Cordella’s life became a terrible ordeal. She faced continuous harassment by management, abetted by the UAW.
The harassment continued for more than a decade and culminated in a workplace assault in 2013 that led to Cordella being fired by Fiat Chrysler and framed up on criminal charges. Despite her acquittal she has yet to regain her job.
Reports received by the World Socialist Web Site Autoworker Newsletter indicate that the pressing of women workers for sexual favors and other forms of harassment is a serious problem in many factories, recalling the dark times before the rise of the mass industrial unions in the 1930s. Continuing abuse was highlighted by the recent lawsuit by women workers at the Ford Chicago Assembly Plant as well as Chicago Stamping, alleging rampant abuse by supervisors and…