4 ILWU Local 10 Oakland dockworkers allege racially hostile environment at 3 companies

4 ILWU Local 10 Oakland dockworkers allege racially hostile environment at 3 companies
http://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/article/4-Oakland-dockworkers-allege-racia...
By Annie Ma Published 7:21 pm, Monday, October 30, 2017

Four dockworkers at the Port of Oakland are suing three companies that employ them for allegedly supporting a racially hostile work environment after racial epithets, nooses and Confederate flags reported in the workplace went unaddressed.
The suit, filed on Sept. 1 in Alameda County Superior Court, names the Pacific Maritime Association and the affiliated Stevedoring Services of America and SSA Terminals LLC, both of which are overseen by Pacific Maritime Association.
The alleged incidents of harassment and intimidation listed in the suit include nooses hung around the docks, signs that included racial epithets and Confederate flags put up by other company employees.
Immediately after the 2016 election, Keith Hamilton, a plaintiff, witnessed three white men driving a labeled company-owned vehicle around the docks, waving a Confederate flag and saying “Screw you, we got our man (Trump).”
The other three plaintiffs — Rickie Cox, John Hughes and Devin Thompson — witnessed various cases of hangman’s nooses and racially charged vandalism at the work site. All four plaintiffs are black men.
Hughes also alleges that when he reported a confrontation in which a foreman called him a racial epithet, Pacific Maritime Association scheduled a meeting to hear his complaint but did not notify him of the time and date. The foreman was not disciplined, according to the suit.
The suit also alleges that SSA refused to provide video footage of racially charged confrontations between black and white workers on the grounds that the cameras had not recorded, though video footage requested for other reasons such as workplace accidents was readily provided.
Angela Alioto, the attorney representing the workers, said that the incident with the truck in particular made her clients fear for their physical safety.
“I honestly believe that the election of Trump has unleashed people who have previously hidden this animus,” Alioto said. “It’s emboldened them to be racist and there are many good examples of that.”
The plaintiffs are requesting a jury trial and compensatory damages, according to the suit.
Annie Ma is a San Francisco Chronicle staff writer. Email: ama@sfchronicle.com