Lawsuit alleges that Hispanics taunted blacks at Dr Pepper Snapple

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Lawsuit alleges that Hispanics taunted blacks at Dr Pepper Snapple

Unread post by alexalonso » December 22nd, 2009, 10:28 pm

This topic correspond to the post that can be found at ... ce:Lawsuit says Hispanics taunted black employees at Dr Pepper Snapple warehouse in Chicago suburb of Northlake

By Alex Alonso (
December 22, 2009

In the midwest it looks like Blacks and Hispanics are divided again and that old concept of "divide & conquer," that race scholar, Tim Wise, eloquently speaks on is striving. This time, Hispanics are accused of being abusive towards Blacks in the work environment of the Dr. Pepper Snapple warehouse while White supervisors did nothing for 2-years. Now, seven Black employees, including one that went back to work, are asking for $1 million each in a federal law suit. Read & watch below.

[flv:news/121809_drpepper_race.flv 510 340]


Plaintiffs allege company ignored taunts, abuse for 2 years

By Cynthia Dizikes Tribune reporter
December 18, 2009

On his first day of work in 2005 at a beverage warehouse in west suburban Northlake, Germaine Benson said he immediately felt tension between black and Hispanic workers.

But by 2007, conditions had grown much uglier as Hispanic supervisors repeatedly subjected black employees to racial insults such as "donkey," "monkey" and the n-word, said Benson, who is African-American.

This week Benson and six other current or former employees of the Dr Pepper Snapple warehouse filed a federal lawsuit that alleges systematic discrimination took place for more than two years before management took meaningful action.

The seven workers are seeking more than $1 million each in damages. Most of them joined the company in 2007.

In addition to the taunts, the workers allege that racially offensive graffiti was written across their lockers twice this year. The company painted over the hate-filled language on both occasions.

"I felt like it was kind of setting us back 100 years," said Archie Hayes, one of three plaintiffs who said they were fired this year after complaining about the hostile work environment.

Hayes and another plaintiff have since been hired back.

Toward the end of their shifts, Hayes said, the supervisors would often follow the black workers, calling them names and holding wooden sticks meant to stab plastic debris littering the warehouse floor.

"It was intimidating," said Hayes, 26. "No one as a human being wants to work like that."

The company said it had taken disciplinary action against several employees. A lawyer for the seven workers acknowledged that two supervisors at the warehouse had recently been fired, but he characterized the action as too little, too late.

A spokesman for Dr Pepper Snapple Group said in a statement that the company immediately launched an investigation when the allegations were brought to its attention, leading to the firing of several employees.

Greg Artkop said the company takes the complaints seriously and has since renewed its training to maintain a workplace free from discrimination or harassment.

"The work rules and regulations of the Northlake facility are clear: Threatening or intimidating behavior will be cause for immediate termination," Artkop said.

Eugene Hollander, the black employees' lawyer, said the company failed to act for a couple of years after complaints by workers.

"Clearly this is not a sufficient response," he said. "It shouldn't take two years to clean up their mess."

The lawsuit also alleges that some of the black workers were discriminated against by being given fewer opportunities to boost their pay.

Some of the black employees said they were paid based on the number of pallets of soda, juice and water they load onto trucks. Under the company's "one man-one truck" rule, only a single employee can work on a truck at a time.

But the black workers contended Hispanic workers were not subjected to the same rule and, as a result, were able to make more money.

Benson, who has four children, said he makes $16.84 an hour and could not afford to quit despite the offensive conditions at the warehouse.

"I have bills," said Benson, 27. "It's hard to find a job right now."

Hollander said the workers were each seeking $1 million in punitive damages and unspecified compensatory damages to "send a message to the company and corporate America."

Tribune reporter Jeff Coen also contributed to this report.

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Re: Lawsuit alleges that Hispanics taunted blacks at Dr Pepper S

Unread post by tysuave » December 24th, 2009, 3:16 am

these niggas is dumb I know it couldent be me I got fired from pepsi not to long ago for getting into it with a mexican that I use to be cool with but he tryed to back stab me and I called him out for a fade witch I was dumb for doing that but I was pissed anyway's he went and told the superviser that I threaten his live and they fired me!Most of the mexicans acted like they was cool with me but they was hateing on me cuzz I was one of the fastest workers there,A mexican hates to see a black person who works harder then them!

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