St. Louis NAACP: Southwest Creating Discriminatory Environment at Lambert

Alex Degman | @alexdegmanKMOX

ST. LOUIS (KMOX) — The president of St. Louis City’s NAACP is accusing Southwest Airlines of racism at St. Louis-Lambert International Airport.

Adolphus Pruitt says the organization has been tracking complaints for a couple of years — he says Southwest is fostering a discriminatory work environment.

“We have African Americans claiming they’re receiving unequal discipline,” Pruitt told KMOX. “We have African Americans say their ability to get rest when they worked too much overtime is being manipulated.”

The NAACP also mentioned partisan politics on full display during last year’s presidential election, plus hostile attitudes from white employees toward black employees.

Pruitt also brings up one instance in particular — an African American man working for a third party vendor who handed an application to a Southwest manager.

“I just can’t imagine a young man working at the airport already, for a vendor, filling out an application and walking to management at Southwest out at the airport, then that manager turns around in front of the other employees of Southwest and says ‘there’s no way I’m hiring this guy, he’s cross eyed,'” Pruitt said.

Southwest says it’s aware of the complaints.

“Southwest neither condones nor tolerates discrimination of any kind. We take these accusations seriously, and as with any complaint we will conduct our own internal investigation,” a Southwest spokeswoman said to KMOX in an email. “Our People are our greatest asset, and it is our goal to support our Employees and our Customers who come from all walks of life.”

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