Big Scoop *Updated
So, did that whole seven-reporter Daily News story about how black employees at the Northwest Transfer Station in Roxborough had to use separate water fountains and bathrooms sound familiar? Yeah, it did to me as well.
(But since the link to the January Inquirer story seems to have gone bare, I suppose it's my memory against theirs, huh?)
An astute newsologiost emailed this to me:
BYLINE: By Vernon Clark and Dwight Ott; Inquirer Staff Writers
Jan. 31, 2009
SECTION: PHILADELPHIA; P-com News Local; Pg. B01
LENGTH: 342 words
Two black employees at the city's trash transfer center in Roxborough have sued the city for discrimination, claiming their supervisor assigned blacks a separate bathroom and reserved a water cooler for white workers only.
The suit by Gibson Trowery of the 7600 block of Horrocks Street in Northeast Philadelphia and Leslie Young of the 1700 block of North Taney Street in Olney seeks $50,000 in damages as well as attorney fees, compensatory damages and costs.
The men, represented by attorney Howard K. Trubman, contend that the city's law department and John Gill, their supervisor, engaged in "ongoing acts of discrimination" at the center, which receives trash-truck cargo that is then transferred to the Chester landfill.
Gill, a 34-year city employee, said he could not comment and referred questions to the city solicitor's office. A spokesman for that agency confirmed that the city had received the complaint but was not at liberty to discuss it. All comments were referred to press secretary Doug Oliver, who said the city intended to file a response.
In an interview, Young said whites and blacks at the center were not allowed to use the same bathroom. In one case, he said, a black worker had to walk down five flights of stairs because he was prohibited from using a whites-only bathroom.
"They are still doing the same thing," Trubman said about the alleged discrimination.
Young is on sick leave in an unrelated matter, and Trowery still works at the center, according to Trubman.
During a heat wave in the summer of 2007, Young said, Gill took away the water cooler from black workers in the scale building "because he said we were using it too fast."
Gill, he said, kept a water cooler in his own office that only whites were allowed to use.
Young said that the discrimination was longstanding and that black workers were denied promotions and advancement.
Trubman said Gill referred to the transfer center as a "plantation" during a fact-finding hearing.