(CTN News) – An Amazon logo is displayed on the facade of a building in Schoenefeld near Berlin, March 18, 2022.
The Amazon logo appears on the facade of a building in Schoenefeld near Berlin on March 18, 2022.
Construction workers at an Amazon warehouse site in Connecticut found rope shaped like a noose hanging from the ceiling in April 2021. Their supervisors were immediately notified of the hate symbol.
Five additional nooses appeared two days later. In the following month, two more were discovered.
Five Black and Hispanic electricians employed at the Windsor, Conn., construction site have filed a federal civil rights lawsuit against Amazon and two contractors, Wayne J. Griffin Electric and RC Andersen. According to the electricians, Amazon and its contractors failed to take the harassment seriously and failed to take the necessary steps to prevent it.
Furthermore, the workers claim that they were subjected to hostility and retaliation at their workplace after raising concerns regarding the nooses.
The presence of a noose, even one, in a workplace sends a clear message of hostility towards the men of color working there: ‘You are not welcome here, and you better watch your back.’ ” stated the complaint, which was filed late last month.
As a spokesperson for Amazon, Steve Kelly told NPR, “Hate, racism, and discrimination do not belong in our society and are not tolerated at any of Amazon’s facilities, whether they are under construction or fully operational. As a result of ongoing legal proceedings, we are unable to provide further information at this time.”
In addition, Amazon stated that it supported local law enforcement during the investigation.
NPR did not receive a response from the two contractors.
In Windsor, just north of Hartford, a group of electricians worked for Wayne J. Griffin Electric to help build a distribution center for Amazon. The building project was managed by RC Andersen.
According to the lawsuit, Amazon did not completely shut down the site until the eighth noose appeared in order to allow the local police to conduct an investigation, which alleges that the companies’ response to the first two nooses was “non-existent and ineffective.”
According to a lawyer for the electricians, the site was only partially shut down after the seventh noose was discovered, contrary to what was reported at the time.)
Furthermore, the suit alleges that Griffin Electric and RC Andersen managers accused the electricians of hanging the nooses themselves to retaliate when the FBI was called in to assist the local police.
In the complaint, it is stated that “they had complained as witnesses to hateful criminal conduct at work and now they are being treated as perpetrators.”
As a result of the experience, Steve Fitzgerald, an attorney representing the electricians, told NPR his clients “are now all in need of therapy to deal with PTSD and anxiety.”
According to NPR, no arrests have been made by the Windsor Police Department. According to the suit, the FBI investigation is still ongoing.
An unspecified amount of compensation is being sought by the electricians.
Amazon and the two companies received concerns about nooses prior to the incidents at Windsor, according to the complaint.
A noose was discovered inside an Amazon distribution center in Bloomfield, Connecticut, by Griffin electricians working on a construction project. In spite of the fact that several employees witnessed the noose, a Griffin manager failed to report it to police because there was no photographic evidence, according to the lawsuit.