Black UPS workers believes the company allows racism to go unchecked

UPS (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Nineteen UPS workers filed a lawsuit against the company on Wednesday for not interfering with racist acts within their ranks.

According to CNN, the lawsuit that was filed at Lucas County Court in Ohio says that managers and supervisors allowed the hateful and racially discriminatory attacks to happen in the Maumee, Ohio distribution facility.

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Workers allege not only did some people openly said the N-word, but a noose was hung above an African-American employee’s workstation. Someone also dressed a monkey doll up as an employee and placed it around a common area in the center.

Workers, including those who have worked for UPS for around two decades, say that they felt “fear, anger and disgust to dismay” because the company failed to intervene properly.  

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“UPS has no tolerance for hate, bigotry or prejudice,” Glenn Zaccara, UPS Director of Corporate Media Relations told CNN. “The company has strict policies against harassment and discrimination. We will not comment further on pending matters.”

The lawsuit includes various incidents that workers experienced.

On one occasion in July 2016, a worker said in the lawsuit that white coworkers wrote in a group text message about winning the lotteries contained “racially driven” and “offensive” messages. Some included: ” “Can we buy another noose with the winnings,” and “Like Clint Eastwood said, ‘Hang ’em High.’”

Lawyers said the incident was reported to management in the lawsuit, but no further actions were taken. The white coworkers said their comments were a “joke.”

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A few months later in September, “a white employee of UPS stated: ‘I’m late for a Klan meeting,” in front of a black and white coworker. Lawyers say that no actions were taken in that incident, either.

Along with other accusations, UPS workers also allege that the company has denied Black workers opportunities within the company due to their

Lawyers state that the company’s actions makes it an unsuitable place for Black employees to work in. They also say that UPS “has failed” the workers.

“The paper promises of UPS to be an equal opportunity employer with zero tolerance of racist comments or conduct are, in practice, merely empty promises,” the worker’s lawyers state in the complaint. “African-American employees come to work each day not knowing whether a racist comment or conduct will confront them, being concerned that smirking or laughing white employees are ridiculing them because of their race, and walking on eggshells to avoid triggering a problem.”

They are all requesting each employee be given at least $25,000 for damages, legal cost and relief in addressing the parcel distributor’s “pattern and practice of discrimination.”

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