Aug. 23, 2015
Black American Airlines workers at Reagan National and Philadelphia claim they are victims of racial discrimination and are reaching out to Attorney General Loretta Lynch for help.
The 80 airline workers sent a letter to Attorney General Loretta Lynch, according to TribLIVE,claiming that they were subjected to racial taunts and an unsafe work environment. The workers are asking Lynch to open an investigation into their claims. “I was told by one manager to go back out to that plantation, go back out to the cotton field. They thought it was hilarious, but I didn’t think it was one bit funny,” said a woman who worked 30 years at National. “They even used the n-word.”
“I’ve heard it referred to as the plantation, the cotton field; get back out there with your cousins,” said a baggage claim employee at National.
The Justice Department has not confirmed whether it will investigate the discrimination claims.
American Airlines released a statement regarding the allegations.“The training procedures and equipment that we use have been recognized as the best in the industry and fully comply with government safety regulations,” American said in the statement. “Ours is a diverse workforce serving customers who are equally diverse, and we are committed to fostering a work environment that is based on collaborative teamwork and mutual respect.”
Your Black World first reported on discrimination claims in July of this year. In the lawsuit workers allege that managers called them “circus monkeys,” “the n-word,” “ghetto,” “Darfur.” The managers also allegedly referred to segregated break areas as the “black panther break room” and “chocolate break room.”
The lawsuit also alleges that the “managers did not provide overtime opportunities for minority workers, enforced unfair punishment on African American workers in comparison to white workers, and refused to give African-American workers proper training, leaving them unqualified for some job opportunities,” NBC Philadelphia reported at the time.