UPS has encouraged the racist climate at the Ohio factory and court claims.


UPS distribution center in New York with a UPS truck visible at the front of the image.

Another UPS distribution center in New York, shown in 1997.

Don Emmert / AFP / Getty Images

Nineteen current and former UPS workers sued their employer on Wednesday for allowing a culture of racism to flourish at a distribution center in Maumee, Ohio, according to reports. documents published by Toledo Blade.

Workers claimed that racist and discriminatory behavior was allowed for decades. Directors and supervisors, some of whom were also named as defendants in the lawsuit, allegedly retaliated against black employees or dissuaded them from reporting their complaints and imposed insufficient sanctions in the rare cases where they allegedly gave following the allegations.

They also allege that, in addition to outright racial hostility, discriminatory practices have led to the neglect of black workers for promotions or to being denied better hours and more demanding and undesirable jobs. The lawsuit seeks financial compensation and a court order to end the discrimination.

Racist incidents reported by employees as including:

• A case in which a white employee who had previously posted Nazi images on social media suspended two nodes above a black employee's workstation. He was later fired, but a white supervisor and white colleagues who saw him place the noose and who joked about them are not punished. Another supervisor who investigated the incident reportedly told the black employee to remain silent and warned him that he might face disciplinary action for taking pictures of the knot flowing.

• A case where a white driver has crossed a black driver with a wave of his hand while pulling on the collar. He was not punished.

• A case in which white colleagues made threatening racist comments about flowing nodes in a group text. No one was punished and after the black employee on the wire who had reported the comments then grieved, UPS denied that the official complaint was filed. In another text message, a white colleague allegedly made a racist joke to a plaintiff about dismissing employees for black, and the same plaintiff would then have been texting with a photo of a stuffed monkey wearing UPS uniform near a place where black employees worked. Again, nothing has happened.

• A case where a white employee stated that he was "late for a Klan meeting". A black and a white employee reported the comment, but nothing happened.

• A white delivery man told a white supervisor that she had refused to deliver a parcel to a black majority neighborhood, which she had called "N – City" and "N … City". The supervisor had denounced her to a white manager. who did not do anything. A supervisor investigated the incident and the employee was fired. She was then "almost immediately" reinstated by UPS.

These incidents occurred mainly in 2016 and 2017, but in 2013, one of the black employees "received a copy of an electronic image depicting a gallows and a noose with a human effigy black attached to the knot, a gorilla image and target with the effigy ", according to the file. This image was a symbol used by a white supervisor to play video games with his colleagues. And in another case, in 2013, a white employee who was fired for calling a "black security officer" a "slacker – …" was reinstated by a supervisor.

And with other visual symbols – Confederate flags, N-word graffiti in the bathroom, racist photos on social media, and looming body language – white employees have made it clear that their black colleagues do not want to see it. were not welcome at the Maumee Center, according to the record. .

A spokesman for UPS told the Washington Post that the company has a strict policy against harassment and discrimination and "promptly investigated and promptly disciplined those who committed inappropriate acts, including the dismissal of two employees ". under the supervision of the Ohio Civil Rights Commission, the company took steps "to train employees and monitor our operations to ensure we maintain a positive work environment without harassment".

According to the complaint, the Ohio Civil Rights Commission had concluded in 2017 that there was "a probable cause to believe that discrimination and reprisals have occurred in the institution". But the commission chose not to pursue the charges following a full hearing, agreeing instead to a conciliation agreement. UPS has announced to some workers that it will hire more minority workers. The plaintiffs stated in the lawsuit that they had found no change in the conditions of black factory employees.

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