More than two dozen Amazon employees say the company failed to respond appropriately to racist death threats against black workers at its MDW2 factory in Joliet, Illinois, and retaliated against an employee who spoke out, according to a report of the Chicago Grandstand (Going through Engadget). The 26 workers reportedly filed complaints with the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).
At the end of May, workers said they found messages stating “[n-word]gonna die” and “fuck these [n-words] at MDW2” written on the bathroom walls of the establishment, according to the advocacy group Warehouse workers for justice. A day or two later, depending a report from a local outlet Herald-Newsemployees learned that someone had called the facility anonymously to threaten black workers.
Workers say additional things have also made the workplace unfriendly. According to Grandstandworkers claim Amazon allowed employees to wear clothing decorated with the Confederate flag, which the Anti-Defamation League classifies as a symbol of hate. Herald-NewsThe story also quotes Marcos Ceniceros, executive director of Warehouse Workers for Justice, who said there had been recent swastika graffiti and anti-Semitic messages at MDW2.
Warehouse Workers for Justice says that after the threats, Amazon told employees they could take voluntary time off if they felt uncomfortable coming into work. As Tori Davis, a former employee points out, this is not a real choice for workers who need an income. Addressing the Grandstandshe said: “We had to choose between staying and making money and being able to pay our bills first, or going home and being safe.”
Davis alleges that Amazon fired her after she threatened to take legal action if the company did not move to protect her and her co-workers, according to the Grandstand. Richard Rocha, a spokesperson for Amazon, told the Grandstand that the company “works hard to protect our employees from all forms of discrimination and to provide an environment where employees feel safe”. However, Rocha did not respond to the outlet’s requests for comment on Davis’ accusations or why he fired her, and the company did not immediately respond. The edgerequest for comment.
Amazon isn’t the only company accused of failing to end racism in some of its facilities. Tesla faced several trials employees about its factory in Fremont, Calif., and allegedly paid millions in colonies concerning racial discrimination at the factory. The car manufacturer is under investigation by the EEOC.