Black Workers Yell Racism at Philly Transfer Station


Philadelphia is the stage where two Black employees have stated that were victims of harassment, humiliation and discrimination by their supervisor for decades while working for a waste transfer plant. These acts have resulted in the workers acquiring a lawyer and filing a lawsuit against the city.

Compensation for the suit for the workers, Gibson Trowery and Leslie Young, had stated that not only do they seek something for monetary damages, but they are also pushing that their superintendent be relieved of his position and dismissed from the job.

The superintendent that is under fire for being so harsh towards the colored skin is John Gill of the Northwest Transfer Station. Spanning back to 1996, Black workers were apparent of the fact that their superintendent had some type of favoritism towards the white workers .

Allegations stretch back to the civil rights and “white only” age where the workers have stated that a bathroom was designated specifically to be used by the Caucasian populous. Along with the bathroom there was an exclusive water fountain in Gill’s office which was only accessible to the pale skinned workers.

The “colored” restroom was located five flights down and of course was in poor condition, according to the workers’ attorney, Howard K. Trubman. Apparently the facility must have thought that they were running some type of day-care center as Trubman stated that some workers were required to ask permission before heading to the bathroom.

Aside from the bathroom and water, Black workers have complained that they weren’t being provided with newer trucks in order to do their job whereas their white counterparts were privileged enough to be upgraded with newer vehicles. When Black workers requested keys to the newer vehicles, Trowery stated that Gill would hide the keys from them and couldn’t find them.

Now although it may seem to be another case of the Black man yelling wolf and crying about how the white man keeps holding them down, Young stated that he recalled a particular incident where there was a lock placed on the door and the only means of entrance was through a key that he stated was only distributed to the white workers.

Young also reflected on his times as a shop steward in 2006 and 2007 where it was his duty to report any discrepancies that the workers may have had to Gill. When he made Gill aware of the unhappy workers and their concerns, Young stated that Gill almost disregarded any real thought and simply stated that they should leave if they were so dissatisfied with what was happening. This may be the reasoning why the case became so big because the human relations commission was unable to resolve certain issues within a year and the workers were allowed to file a complaint with the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas.

According to Trubman, a trial is expected to begin around the summer of next year. Although no comment has been issued from Gill, all things come to light at some point and that doesn’t necessarily mean something negative for him. Time will tell if there is truth or a case of a Black man crying wolf.

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