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EEOC Finds Texas Factory Discriminated Against Black Workers

Lawyers for eight black workers who are suing Turner Industries Group, LLC, a large Louisiana based industrial construction company, released a letter from the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) states there is “reasonable cause” to believe that discrimination charges against the company are true. The allegations are largely based on incidents at the company’s Paris, Texas, pipe fabrication plant. The EEOC letter reports that “Black employees were subjected to unwelcome racial slurs, comments and intimidation, racial graffiti, nooses in the workplace and other symbols of discrimination,” said the Wall Street Journal. Black employees also allegedly did not receive equal opportunities for advancement and experienced retaliation for making complaints about instances of discrimination. Several former employees reported being fired after making discrimination complaints or after refusing to sign affidavits against other employees that they believed to be false. Dontrail Mathis, 33, who works as a painter’s helper at the Paris, Texas, plant told the Dallas Morning News that he has “been called colored boy, coon, monkey” and saw drawings of swastikas and nooses on the factory’s walls. He also said, “when Obama won, they went off. My superiors said, ‘If he ain’t white, it ain’t right.'” Turner denies that discriminatory incidents occurred at their factory and issued a statement that said, “the EEOC will invite us to a meeting in the near future, and we shall welcome that opportunity to show them that our work places are free of harassment, discrimination, and/or retaliation.” The statement also indicated Turner conducted an internal investigation last year that found “no employee interviewed was found to be a victim of harassment or discrimination” and “no one was subject to retaliation.”

Sources:

Wall Street Journal 4/16/10; Dallas Morning News 4/15/10; Turner Industries Press Release 4/16/10

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