Media Center

Sep 11

Metro Workers Launch “Oreo” Ad Campaign to Stop Race Baiting

St. Louis, MO – Exposing race baiting by Metro CEO John Nations’ staff the Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) has launched an “Oreo” ad campaign to stop Metro’s attempts to racially divide the workforce and to drag management and Governor Nixon into the 21st century.

The “Oreo” ads, which will run in the St. Louis American and on radio stations, expose an incident when members of Metro’s negotiating committee distributed to members of ATU Local 788 a recipe for Oreo Cookies at the end of a heated bargaining session.

The majority of Metro bus operators are African-American, while most mechanics are white. The obvious message with the recipe was that the union is “white on the inside and black on the outside,” like the cookie.

ATU International President Larry Hanley wrote Nations a letter asking him to discharge the member of his bargaining team responsible for the incident.  Nations publically dismissed the “Oreo” incident as a Metro employee sharing his “baking hobby”

“Amid everything else happening in St. Louis, it is unconscionable that John Nations can act so belligerently,” Hanley says. “When a Metro worker found a noose in his locker in the year 2000, Nations’ predecessor immediately responded and laid out a zero tolerance policy for racism. Yet in the year 2014, John Nations just waves it off. He’s managed to set race relations at our agency back 20 years.”

The union’s “Oreo” ad, reads: “Everyone loves Oreo cookies. But no one appreciates being called an Oreo….“Tell John Nations his insults can’t pull us apart. Economic justice isn’t about black or white, it’s about respect.”

Hanley has also written a letter to Missouri Governor Jay Nixon and Illinois Governor Pat Quinn to remove Nations for his failure to “correct the outrageous conduct of his staff at the bargaining table.”  Neither Governor has acted.

“Metro and Governor Nixon seem to be living in the days of the Jim Crow era,” Hanley continued. “It’s time they starting living in the 21st century and quit trying to racially divide the workers.”