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Protest held outside Claxton Poultry Farms after claims of workplace incident

There was a protest Friday outside a chicken plant in Claxton for racial justice.
There was a protest Friday outside a chicken plant in Claxton for racial justice.(WTOC)
Updated: Jan. 29, 2021 at 10:51 PM EST
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CLAXTON, Ga. (WTOC) - There was a protest Friday outside a chicken plant in Claxton for racial justice.

Protesters say last August a woman working at Claxton Poultry Farms was called a racial slur by an HR manager.

That manager was suspended for three days, but protesters say that’s not enough. The President of the Poor and Minority Justice Association says their message is straightforward.

“I hope they get the message that he needs to be terminated, and we won’t stop until he’s terminated,” said Pastor Eli Porter, President of Poor and Minority Justice Association.

Porter says his group will return every week until they get the outcome they want.

Claxton Poultry released the following statement to WTOC in regards to the protest:

“Claxton Poultry was surprised to learn recently that a previous employee, Ms. Krystal Grant, had an unresolved grievance with the company and intended to protest today in Claxton. In early August of last year an HR manager at our Sylvania plant greeted Ms. Grant and another employee in an unprofessional manner. The Manager, realizing what he said, immediately apologized to both employees. He apologized again to Ms. Grant a few days later during the internal hearing about the incident and later again in a written apology. The manager was disciplined in accordance with company policies regarding such matters and Ms. Grant continued her employment with the company until October 30 of last year and never mentioned the incident again. Ms. Grant offered a written notice of resignation, not mentioning the incident or any unresolved grievance, and thanked the Plant Manager and the same HR Manager involved with this incident for the opportunity to have worked for the company.

Claxton Poultry is firmly committed to a policy of nondiscrimination in all employment practices. The policy of providing equal employment opportunity also includes freedom from sexual harassment as well as harassment based on such factors as race, color, religion, national origin, sex, age, disability or veteran status. Claxton Poultry strongly disapproves of and will not tolerate harassment of employees by managers, supervisors or coworkers. Some examples of harassment include racial slurs; ethnic jokes; posting of offensive statements, posters or cartoons; verbal, physical or visual conduct that is intimidating, offensive or hostile that interferes with work performance. Claxton Poultry is vigilant to effectively re-enforce the express prohibitions of such conduct and applies its enforcement evenly among its various populations. In this matter, the company acted swiftly and meted out discipline to the Manager in a manner consistent with its policies.

The company extended an invitation for a face to face meeting with Ms. Grant and her representatives to discuss a resolution to this matter, but the offer was declined. The company remains open to a meeting with Ms. Grant and her representatives in the future.

Claxton Poultry will have no further comment on this matter at this time.”

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