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Jesse Jackson Threatens Boycott Against Oil Giant

November 10, 1996

CHICAGO (AP) _ Civil rights leader Jesse Jackson threatened Saturday to organize a boycott of Texaco, where several executives were recorded making racist remarks.

Jackson said he plans to meet with Texaco officials on Tuesday to ask about the oil company’s hiring and promotion of minorities.

``Unless they have a definite plan, they’re facing a major boycott,″ he said.

There was no comment from Texaco officials Saturday or confirmation of the meeting with Jackson; calls to corporate offices in New York were not answered.

The offensive statements were recorded in 1994 by an executive, Richard Lundwall, who attended meetings of the company’s finance department. He said he taped them to make sure the minutes he kept would be accurate. After Lundwall’s job was eliminated, however, he retired and later gave the tapes to a lawyer suing Texaco for discrimination.

Texaco Chairman Peter Bijur apologized last week and said he had suspended two of the executives involved who still work for the company. He also confirmed that Texaco had received subpoenas from a federal grand jury investigating whether executives illegally destroyed documents on minority hiring.

The documents could have been evidence in the $540 million class-action lawsuit brought on behalf of 1,500 black employees who claim they were denied promotions and advancement opportunities because of their race.

Jackson announced his plans Saturday at a meeting of Operation PUSH. He said by phone later that many black Texaco workers have flooded Operation PUSH with calls offering ``horrendous stories.″

``We’re finding that this nasty, offensive language is just the tip of the iceberg,″ he said. ``If you think the language is insulting, you should see the data.″

In Dallas, about 50 demonstrators picketed a Texaco service station Saturday afternoon to protest the statements.

``This effort here today is symbolic of what we expect to see across the country and that people will stop buying Texaco oil and their products,″ said Lee Alcorn, president of the Dallas chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.

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