Thursday, April 28, 2011

Joliet Warehouse Workers Filing Discrimination Charges in Court Today

The group Warehouse Workers for Justice has released the following press release regarding workers in a Joliet warehouse who are filing charges with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission today in Chicago:
"Workers at the Kraft/Cadbury's warehouse in Joliet are filing charges with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission today alleging that DB Schenker - the company running the warehouse - has repeatedly refused to address discrimination claims and has created a hostile work environment.
"There are Nazi signs on the walls," said Angela McDonald, one of the workers at the warehouse. "When you have to work late or on a Saturday you never know what could happen."
A group of Schenker employees, along with Warehouse Workers for Justice, recently met with civil rights representatives and local clergy to request assistance in dealing with the discriminatory practices. One worker described fearing for her safety while walking to her car after being repeatedly harassed during the night shift. "When I'm leaving at one in the morning, there is no security and I know there are people who are hateful and prejudiced in the building. I'm afraid of someone hurting me," said McDonald. 
The EEOC charges allege that when management was approached about the various instances of discrimination, they claimed that the African American and Latino workers were putting up swastika graffiti "to get attention." The offensive graffiti has not been removed from most public areas of the warehouse including the break room and men's rest room, and a vehicle flying confederate flags has been consistently parked on the property near the warehouse entrance.

"When we first saw the swastika grafitti we went to talk to the management. They still have not said that they will take care of any of this," alleged McDonald."

Will County News contacted both Kraft Foods and DB Schenker in order to ask for a response to this press release.  DB Schenker replied that they had not yet received a copy of the complaint.  DB Schenker also replied that once they receive a copy of the filing, they will review it, investigate, and respond accordingly.

Kraft Foods responded that they were not familiar with the specific complaint, and suggest contacting DB Schenker.  Kraft Foods also responded that Kraft Foods works with thousands of suppliers and business partners around the world, and informs those vendors of Kraft's expectation that all vendors comply with all regulations regarding legal compliance.  Kraft Foods provided a link to their expectations of suppliers and business partners.

Here is a video of the workers in Chicago as they filed the complaint paperwork:

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