Skip to comments.Reuters accused of widespread racism in US class-action lawsuit
Posted on 07/31/2003 5:10:19 PM PDT by Paul Atreides
The Reuters news group and one of its US subsidiaries is being sued for racial discrimination over allegations that a "white, public school attitude" tolerated and encouraged a racist environment in which black employees were abused and persecuted.
The class action announced yesterday alleges that black employees at Radianz a US-based internet services subsidiary of Reuters were forced to work in "an outrageous, patently offensive environment". One black employee was repeatedly referred to as "my nigger" by a white supervisor and was sent racially offensive emails, the action alleges.
"It's astounding," said Douglas Wigdor, one of the lawyers bringing the action on behalf of two employees and one former member of staff. "The only way I can account for this is that the management have done nothing about this. The company's general counsel told one of our clients that nothing could be done because the company is run by white men from England and 'what can you do about it'. It's that public school mentality."
Asked if he thought it would have happened if the management had been American, he said: "There are plenty of American companies where racism happens but I think it would have been less likely that it would have been done on such a wide-scale basis."
Mr Wigdor said that one of the employees being represented in the class action, Eric Berry, repeatedly endured racial slurs from his white supervisor and was often the butt of racist jokes. He also received an email from a white supervisor, David Flynn, which depicted an electronically altered photograph of Mr Berry with a noose around his neck, fang-like teeth, braids in his hair and a large black penis. The email has been obtained by The Independent. Another email sent to Mr Berry depicted a scantily clad "Miss South Africa" with an ape's head placed on top of a woman's torso. Mr Wigdor, whose law firm was responsible for the recent class action against Macy's stores for the racial profiling of people suspected of shoplifting, said that a number of Radianz's 27 black employees received similar emails.
The class action is being assisted by celebrity lawyer Johnnie Cochran, famous for defending OJ Simpson. Mr Cochran said: "It is difficult to imagine how, in 2003, a company like Reuters could tolerate this sort of overt racist behaviour at the highest level in a business that it created and now controls." He added: "This lawsuit is meant to bring Reuters, Equant [the co-owners] and Radianz into the 21st century, to stop the disgusting practice of racism within these companies and to send a message that such immoral behaviour will not be tolerated no matter how rich or powerful a company may be."
The lawsuit also alleges that black employees were routinely paid less than their white counterparts. One former employee who complained about this was allegedly fired by the company. Peter Snowden, who had been a technical engineer at Radianz, said: "Not only does Radianz continue to tolerate racial harassment in the workplace and pay its African-American employees less than similarly situated white employees, the company looks at African-American employees as troublemakers and gives white employees the benefit of the doubt."
Radianz was created by Reuters and Equant in June 2000. Reuters owns a controlling 51 per cent in the company and the telecommunications company Equant holds 49 per cent. In a statement, Radianz said that inquiries into Mr Berry's complaint had resulted in one employee being fired and three others receiving disciplinary action. "Radianz absolutely denies any and all allegations that it engages in or tolerates discriminatory workplace practices of any kind," it said. Nancy Bobrowitz, a spokeswoman for Reuters America, said: "Reuters does not tolerate any form of discrimination within our own firm and we will not tolerate it in any of our affiliates."
Similiar to *bang_list. Search *CCRM in category "poster"
God must cleaning up our press corp...one organization at a time.
Class action lawsuit.....plaintiffs receive $1.98 each and attorneys are paid $30 million....yep, real classy...
I haven't a clue. Pinging the BritishFriends bump list, in case one of them may see this and be able to answer the question.
Where does one "search by category 'poster'"? I know how to check the last X number of posts to the tattered remnants of the once-proud bump lists (on active bump lists like the *bang_list you no longer can see more than the last few days' worth of posts), and I know you can do an "In Forum" of a given user from their profile page, but other than that...
Must be a browser problem. I'm hardly the guy to ask about this stuff. On the main News/Activism page there is a "Search" box. The default is Title Search. Press the down arrow and two other options appear-Keyword and Poster. Highlight Poster. Type *CCRM and you will arrive at a bumplist folder similar to *bang_list. How do you get to *bang_list now?
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