Workers claim racism at Memphis UPS facility - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Reported by Anna Marie Hartman

Workers claim racism at Memphis UPS facility

Workers at a UPS facility in Memphis say they are victims of racism in the workplace, and they're taking their fight to court.

Herman Lewis has been a dock worker for UPS Freight for the past 13 years. 

Lewis claims blacks often get passed over for promotions and are disciplined more harshly than white employees.

"Things that we have concerning race...they have had a dull ear of hearing those things and so we have to take it to another level," Lewis said in an interview Friday.

Lewis and three of his coworkers filed a discrimination lawsuit against the company on October 13th.   Since then, according to Lewis, he's been a victim of racial retaliation. 

"Recently there was a noose found in my workstation," he said.

The rope Lewis said was left on the trailer door at his station. Lewis said door handles in the other 192 work stations are made of black canvas straps. 

When asked for comment, UPS Spokesperson Norman Black said, "We took the report very very seriously.  Both inside and outside investigators were brought in to address the claim.  While the investigation is ongoing, preliminary results showed that it was not a noose. "
Lewis is not happy with the company's response.

"It can't silence me, because the right thing for me and anybody else to do is to speak out against any unequal treatment," he said.

Lewis the three other plaintiffs on the lawsuit go to trial January 28th. 

Regarding the lawsuit UPS says,  "This is something that the company has resolved to litigate.  We believe that the allegations are without merit and we are going to pursue a full vigorous defense because we do not believe they have any basis in fact."

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