NAACP President Ben Jealous today leveled weighty allegations of prejudiced hiring against BP, the embroiled oil company responsible for the Gulf oil spill. Following a recent trip to the Gulf region, Jealous, who is currently in Missouri for the NAACP’s national convention, says he is now convinced that BP is hiring workers of color to do the most dangerous and taxing clean-up jobs.
In a letter to BP CEO Tony Hayward obtained by The Root, Jealous writes:
Workers of color tend to be assigned the most physically difficult, lowest paying jobs, with the most significant exposure to toxins, while white workers tend to be in supervisory, less strenuous positions.
Contractors of color are not receiving equal consideration for opportunities to participate in mitigation efforts.
While at this point one should almost expect BP to be heinous through and through, it’s perhaps wise to take Jealous’ critiques with a grain of salt until actual data verifies the anecdotes.
In the meantime, Jealous is “urging” BP to initiate “monitoring mechanisms and take remedial action to ensure that workers of color are not relegated to arduous tasks and low-paid positions.”