Man Allegedly Confronted by Co-Worker with Noose

Some say there's no fighting City Hall, but what about your Union Hall?
Well, that's been done in the past, and successfully at that.
Now, a Philadelphia man hopes he can do it too. He says he has to do it -- his livelihood depends on it.
Since Paul Solomon spoke out to the NBC10 Investigators and authorities about a racially charged incident at a Center City construction site, he says he’s been shutout of work.
"I no longer work for East Coast Hoist which was the company I was working for as a full time employee," Solomon told the NBC 10 investigators in an exclusive interview. "It sends a bad, bad message. Don't say anything. You say something you get punished, cut off at the knees," Solomon added.
Solomon described what happened when a white co-worker allegedly confronted him with a hangman noose on the 45th floor at the Comcast building.
The incident went down in October of 2007.
"That individual when I arrived at the 45th floor had a noose in his hand, a real noose, he shook it at me, a hangman noose, he shook it at me and said that he wanted to hang someone," Solomon explained.
Solomon says he feared for his life and that’s why he originally contacted authorities and the NBC 10 Investigators in October of 2007.
Now, Solomon says he's fighting a discrimination problem with his union. He claims officials at Local 542 operating engineers have blackballed him.
"The union was very dissatisfied that I complained about the noose incident," Solomon said.
At one point he had a job at a crane company for three weeks,  but the company let him go after getting a call from a union official, Solomon told Hairston.

"There was another job that I had solicited the guy said that the union said that I wouldn't be the ideal person and they would send somebody else out for the job," Solomon continued.
"There's a lot of discrimination it would make your hair stand up," said Joanne Rathbeger, Solomon’s attorney.
She says the union has a history of discriminating against African Americans.
"This has been going on with this union since 1971," Rathbeger explained.
Court documents from a past case show that a federal judge determined the union intentionally discriminated against 12 black workers.
Now, more than 30 years later, Solomon is just one of many taking the union to court again.
"We are in the process of bringing suit on behalf of half a dozen black guys,” Rathebeger said. Workers all came forward over the past 6 months, she went on.
Hairston went to the union headquarters to get their side of the story, but no one was available. And, despite several calls over a week, none were returned.
Solomon's attorney says the law does what it can but rarely totally compensates the person who has suffered the loss.
“So a win is actually a loss for someone like Paul?” Hairston asked Rathbeger. “Very often, most often."

Hairston went to the union headquarters to get their side of the story, but no one was available. And, despite several calls over a week, none were returned.


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Despite numerous calls to East Coast Hoist, no one would comment, Investigative reporter Harry Hairston reported.

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