Re: “ ‘We’re just tired of what’s going on’: Metro employees protest racial bias at transit agency” [June 25, Traffic Lab]:
As a member of Organized Workers for Labor Solidarity (OWLS), I want to express my appreciation for The Seattle Times’ coverage of the protest initiated by OWLS and members of Amalgamated Transit Union 587 against the racist subculture that exists at King County Metro. Metro’s response to what triggered this protest is absolutely disappointing. A Metro employee took a picture of a black figurine in front of a flagpole at the Metro’s South Base in Tukwila. In the background are ropes slung in a way that easily imply a noose.
Metro dallied since early June “investigating this.” Doesn’t Metro management understand that lynching is a real threat in the U. S.? Doesn’t Metro management comprehend that not responding aggressively to racist acts in Metro’s workplace fosters and abets racism? As a “solution” Metro urges employees to report problems to Sound Transit’s Office of Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO), Equity & Inclusion. But at the protest, several employees recounted stories of harassment and discrimination with no accountability or resolution from this office. The protest also raised concrete demands, including real affirmative action in training, promotions and hiring.
Racism has no place at King County Metro.
Patrick J. Burns, Seattle