“The most odious of all oppressions are those which mask as justice.”
That statement was once made by U.S. Supreme Court Justice Robert H. Jackson. It’s a statement that I often recall when I hear or read about a so-called “victory” within our American judicial system. Granted, the system is not perfect, but it’s the best on the planet as far as “man” goes. Without a doubt it continues to rid America of criminals that prey on the weak and vulnerable. Like most things however, there are flaws. Criminals, most often seem to have more rights than the victims. Also, when it comes to our judicial system, many times nothing is more truer than the old saying, “It’s not what you know, but who you know.”
Those who have the courage to stand up and speak out about workplace harassment within the trucking industry and are not willing to sell themselves out to businesses or organizations, are making a difference within the industry. A difference that has some big players in the trucking game growing nervous. That is what the truth does . . . it can make a lot of people nervous. It can also strengthen a person’s courage to come forward and fight for what is right.
More and more, student, inexperienced and female drivers are coming to the front lines and exercising their rights as employees. Female drivers who have experienced harassment, abuse and even rape by male driver trainers, are going to court and fighting back. It’s about time. Some have won . . . and some have lost, but they fought back. This is the ultimate sign that things are changing and they will continue to change as long as there are those who will speak out against these secrets of the trucking industry and other industries as well. Not to be bought out . . . not to be frightened by threats . . . but to move forward with truth which holds the key in bringing about real change for the better, to an industry that has its share of corruption, lies and abuse.
There will be those workplace harassment cases that will be thrown out due to some trivial oversight, but not because the cases were not warrant. An attorney missed something . . . the statute of limitations were missed . . . or somebody “knew” somebody in high places. All to often, sadly enough, there will be those true victims that will run right into the brick wall of American injustice. The accused will claim “victory,” but I would like to know where exactly is the justice?
A friend in high places . . . Congress, Senate, Judge? American justice can be bought and paid for … it’s not what you know, it’s who you know.
When victims lose the judicial battle, many times they still win. They won by not backing down and facing the demon head on and saying, “You cannot allow this treatment of drivers to continue, or we will fight back.” They may not win the case every time, but their courage and determination speaks volumes to many others and can lead them to follow in their footsteps and not back down when faced with violations of their employment rights. When a case is thrown out over some missed, minute detail, this is no victory for the accused. The facts of the case were never heard . . . the victims never had the opportunity to provide testimony . . . the defendant has no victory at all . . . just another example of judicial injustice.
Workplace harassment, whether it be in trucking or any other business . . . is not going away . . . but those of us who cannot be “bought out” by trucking companies, businesses and organizations . . . are not going away either.
© 2009, Allen Smith. All rights reserved.