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Union Pacific Accused of Racism in lLawsuit

Union Pacific Accused of Racism in lLawsuit

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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- Two black men have filed lawsuits against Union Pacific Railroad, claiming it didn't do enough to stop racism they said they faced on the job.

Renee Tademy of Salt Lake City and Terry H. Fullwiley of Ogden filed two lawsuits Wednesday in federal court, accusing white co-workers of hostility ranging from racial epithets to leaving a lynching noose in a locker room.

Union Pacific spokesman Mark Davis said Thursday the Omaha, Neb.-based railroad had received the lawsuit but was still reviewing the accusations.

"Union Pacific Railroad has an extensive program and policies dealing with diversity," Davis said.

Tademy worked as a yard conductor in Salt Lake City facility until going on medical leave last August. He said he was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder as a result of "working in a psychological abyss."

Tademy said he has been having nightmares since finding a noose in the locker room.

Fullwiley, a UP employee for 30 years, still works for the railroad in Ogden. His lawsuit said he was the first black engineer for the railroad's eastern district in Salt Lake City, a position he tried for several times but was repeatedly denied.

According to the lawsuit, Fullwiley was told a foreman had turned him down for the promotion because, "I don't want a (racial slur) working on my railroad."

Both lawsuits describe racially insensitive cartoons posted at the work, bathrooms and locker rooms filled with racist graffiti and references to slavery and stereotypical characters.

Tademy said he filed several complaints with management and with the company's equal-opportunity board, but discipline was rare.

"The number one thing is education," Tademy said. "You have to educate the people."

(Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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