WorkersÂ allege they are faced withÂ swastikas, confederate flagsÂ sexualÂ harassment, and a hostile work environment
Workers at the Kraft/Cadbury’s warehouse in Joliet are filing charges with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission on Thursday morning 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 harassedÂ 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.Â
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.
A report released last year found nearly 40% of Will County warehouse workers reported being discriminated against. The report, Bad Jobs in Goods Movement,Â found that 63% of workers in Will County warehouses are temps, earning poverty wages with few benefits.
Employees of DB Schenker and Prologistics temp agency, community supporters and legal representatives held a press conference this morning (April 28) at the EEOC Offices,Â 500 West Madison Street,Â Chicago, IL toÂ file EEOC charges of discrimination against their employer.