Seven Nooses Found at Amazon Facility
The non-union construction site has shut down work after the latest racist incident
Community leaders and workers are up in arms after another racist incident at an Amazon warehouse in Connecticut.
The incident happened at an Amazon warehouse that is being built in Windsor Connecticut during the workers' lunch break. When the workers returned to the construction site, they found a rope hanging from a beam and looking like a noose. This is just the latest incident in the past month at the construction site where police say a noose was found on April 27th and five more ropes that “could be interpreted as nooses” were found on April 29th.
At a press conference that was organized by the NAACP Carlos Best, a foreman and ironworker on the site said that he has had to fire a worker for making racist remarks. "I did witness Confederate flags on people's hats, on the back of their cars. I personally heard racial remarks," he said during a press conference Thursday. "It was a daily thing out here on the job that you had to deal with. This is not the only construction site that these things occur on, and it has to stop sooner or later."
Windsor Police Chief Donald Melanson said at the press conference that his department is working on tracking down a suspect and already has some leads. The FBI has also been brought in to assist on the investigation.
"The implications of a hanging noose anywhere are unacceptable and will always generate the appropriate investigative response. We stand united with all of our law enforcement partners across the state in rooting out and applying the rule of law to any individual or group perpetuating hateful ideology and intimidation in our communities," David Sundberg, the New Haven FBI field office special agent in charge, said in a statement.
The warehouse, which is being built just a few miles north of the state capitol in Hartford, is being built by RC Andersen a contractor out of Fairfield New Jersey, and property developer Scannell Properties of Indianapolis. In September, unions held a protest outside of the warehouse saying that RC Andersen was using out-of-state, non-union workers, including using A&D Welding which is headquartered in Georgia. At the time, they noted that not only were they busing workers in from out of state during a pandemic, but the contractor recently had to remove 25 workers from the project because they were not authorized to work in the United States. Amazon received about $8.8 million from Windsor in tax abatements and reduced permit fees. RC Andersen previously built another Amazon facility in Windsor that was plagued with problems and was issued a stop-work order by the state for having improper workers’ compensation coverage.
“The CT NAACP State Conference along with the Greater Hartford NAACP are outraged that noose number seven was found on the Amazon worksite. Amazon has shut down the Windsor construction site,” the NAACP said. “These forms of hate crimes have had a detrimental stain on the current state of America’s reality and for them to hit so close to home and with such consistency, shows a robust disrespect for the not only human decency but also for our ancestors who lost their lives due to the hate represented within the knots in those ropes.”
The incident comes just days after five women announced they were suing Amazon for racial and gender discrimination. The diverse group of women, who worked either corporate positions or warehouse management and range in age from 23 to 64, each allege they faced retaliation by their white managers for complaining about the sexual harassment and discrimination they faced. Two of the women are Black, and the others are white, Latina, and Asian American.
"Amazon can no longer dismiss abusive behavior and retaliation by white managers as mere anecdotes," their lawyers said. "These are systemic problems, entrenched deep within the company and perpetuated by a human resources organization that treats employees who raise concerns as a problem."
The company has put out a $100,000 reward for information that leads the culprit.