Federal agency sues trucking firms for racial harassment

Friday, May 31, 2002

ST. LOUIS, Mo. -- The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has sued two national trucking companies for allegedly harassing black employees.

Consolidated Freightways and Miller Transporters Inc. disputed the claims made in lawsuits filed Thursday in federal courts in Kansas City and St. Louis.

Vancouver, Wash.,-based Consolidated Freightways is accused of tolerating a racially hostile environment for its dock workers in Kansas City since 1997. The suit filed in Kansas City claimed that four nooses were hung from the ceiling of the employees' break room, two black employees were assaulted, and racially offensive graffiti was written on the male employees' restrooms.

"Nooses date back to the most heinous and violent period of America's history," said Lynn Bruner, district director of the EEOC's St. Louis District Office.

Death threats reported

The suit also alleges that subordinates repeatedly assaulted Gregory Stillman and that he received death threats from white employees. Stillman also said he had all four of his car's tires slashed. The EEOC also claims that Consolidated didn't support Stillman in disputes with subordinates and disciplined him unfairly.

The lawsuit filed in St. Louis alleged that Jackson, Miss.,-based Miller Transporters Inc. racially harassed a black worker, Lacy Tucker, at its St. Louis terminal from 1998 to 2000.

The EEOC alleged that Tucker's supervisor routinely addressed him in a racially derogatory manner and scrutinized his work more closely.

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