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The South rises again: Tyson Foods sued for discrimination

Chris Kromm at Facing South was on this story Wednesday, and it’s a doozy — and a reminder that the “New South” label is barely papering over the Old South in parts of the region.

Consider this August dispatch:

A lawsuit filed today alleges that Tyson Foods, Inc. is responsible for maintaining a segregated bathroom and break room, reminiscent of the Jim Crow era, in its Ashland, Alabama chicken processing plant.

Twelve African-American employees filed a complaint in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Alabama, alleging that a “Whites Only� sign and a padlock denied them access to a bathroom in the Ashland plant. The complaint states that numerous white employees had keys to the bathroom that were not provided to African-American workers.

True, Arkansas-based meatpacking giant Tyson is one of the most egregious violators of labor and civil rights law in the country. But they’re definitely not alone.

You may recall that Tyson had a buddy-buddy relationship with the Clintons during his administration, but Chris notes that the company is in bed with the Bush crime team, donating $100,000 towards Bush’s 2005 inauguration. That buys access.

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Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding