African Immigrants Claim Wal-Mart Fired Them To Give Jobs To Whites

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From the NY Times:

SILVERTHORNE, Colo. — A small group of West African men who came to the Rockies in search of economic opportunity are embroiled in a dispute with Wal-Mart, accusing it of a raft of discriminatory actions. Most say they were dismissed because supervisors wanted to give their jobs to local people in need of work.

Wal-Mart, which has a history of discrimination and labor complaints but has increased efforts to promote diversity at its stores, denies the accusations.

A spokesman, Greg Rossiter, said most of the men who had filed the complaints were part of a larger group of 90 employees of all different backgrounds dismissed last year after a management change at a store in Avon, Colo.

“These allegations just don’t accurately reflect the working environment at these stores,” Mr. Rossiter said. “We have a diverse group of associates, including many from West Africa, who are finding good career opportunities.”

In complaints filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the 10 men said they had all worked for Wal-Mart for a few years, mostly without incident, at a variety of jobs at three stores in Avon, Glenwood Springs and Rifle.

But things changed in 2008 and 2009, when new managers took over the stores, according to the complaints as well as interviews here with four of the men, who continue to gather weekly at a cramped apartment and talk of their hopes of getting new jobs.

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