Tags: atkinson cotton warehouse | racist | supervisor

Atkinson Cotton Warehouse Supervisor's Racist Comments Shock Owner

By    |   Thursday, 05 Jun 2014 06:05 PM

The owner of the Atkinson Cotton Warehouse responded Thursday to racist comments recorded in a warehouse, saying he was unaware of the hostile environment because he had hired a management company to run the business.

E.W. Atkinson told WREG the cotton business that’s been in his family for 60 years was being managed by Federal Compress.

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“I just wasn’t around. I’m sorry I didn’t know sooner,” Atkinson said, adding that he was shocked by the recordings that are making rounds on the Internet.

In one recording, employee Antonio Harris asked why he couldn’t use the microwave and was reportedly given the answer, “Because you are not white.”

Harris told WREG he was tired of the treatment he was getting, and so he recorded the conversations with his supervisor.

In one recording, a supervisor says a sign that reads "White People Only" should be hung on the drinking fountain. Harris asked what they would do if he drank the water.

“That’s when we hang you,” the supervisor replied on the recording, WREG said.

An EEOC complaint has been filed.

Federal Compress released a statement saying the company has a “strict zero-tolerance policy which prohibits any form of racially or other discriminatory conduct or language in the workplace and provides a process for reporting such violations to Human Resources for investigations,” WREG said.

The supervisor no longer works for the company, WREG said.

"It's crazy that anybody would think to talk like that nowadays," Atkinson told CNN. "It makes no sense whatsoever. You can't even comprehend it."

He said 90 percent of the people who work in the warehouse are black and that he would have stopped any such racist behavior if he’d been aware of it.

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The owner of the Atkinson Cotton Warehouse responded Thursday to racist comments recorded in a warehouse, saying he was unaware of the hostile environment because he had hired a management company to run the business.
atkinson cotton warehouse, racist, supervisor
312
2014-05-05
Thursday, 05 Jun 2014 06:05 PM
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