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Harley-Davidson Workers: 'This Stuff Has to Stop'

Employees say they've had enough of racist harassment
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted May 4, 2019 4:42 PM CDT
This file photo shows the Harley-Davidson name on the gas tank of a bike.   (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh, File)

(Newser) – Minority employees at Harley-Davidson's plant in Kansas City have been subjected to years of harassment and discrimination—including having swastikas and nooses posted in the plant, frequent racial epithets and at least one assault, several employees said at a news conference organized by the NAACP-Kansas City on Friday. "All the time I worked there it's been there, it's just ridiculous," said Emmanuel Matthews Sr., who worked at the plant for more than two years, per the AP. "This is 2019. This stuff has to stop. Something needs to be done." Matthews and other employees who spoke at the news conference work for Syncreon.US Inc., an affiliate of Syncreon, which supplies contract workers to the Harley-Davidson plant, but they said the harassment was directed at all minority employees.

Matthews said he was assaulted by another worker at the plant but declined to discuss the details. Harley-Davidson said in a statement that it does not tolerate any form of harassment or discrimination and actively enforces its code of conduct and anti-harassment policy along with well-established processes for employees to report concerns. "Complaints that we were aware of were thoroughly investigated and action was taken based on the findings," the statement reads. "As appropriate we also referred incidents and complaints to third-party employers who share our factory." Oswald Reid, president and CEO of Syncreon.US, said in a statement Friday that the company doesn't tolerate any of the alleged actions.

(Read more racism stories.)

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