Union Pacific CEO Fritz calls for more action to address racial injustice

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Union Pacific CEO Lance Fritz
TRAINS: David Lassen

In a statement posted Wednesday on the railroad’s website, Union Pacific CEO Lance Fritz addresses racial inequality underlying the nation’s recent protests and social unrest, saying it is time for the railroad, its people, and the nation “to stand up and speak out.”

“The racial injustice within our country deeply saddens and sickens me as an American, a father, and a business leader,” Fritz writes.

After recounting the deaths of Breonna Taylor and George Floyd, and other recent racially motivated incidents, Fritz writes, “It is incredibly sad that the accused must defend themselves with video posts of the incident to ensure the facts are reported. The assaults and accusations should never occur in the first place. This behavior is not acceptable in America, and not acceptable at Union Pacific Railroad. … We, meaning me and my team at Union Pacific, need to stand up for our beliefs, our ethics and our fellow citizens. Every American has the right to be treated equally and with dignity. The social injustice must stop, and we have to play a part.”

Fritz, who began the statement by recalling that UP workers formed the Black Employee Network 40 years ago “to help leadership better understand and respond to the concerns of our African American employees,” concludes by saying, “Union Pacific took action 40 years ago to better understand and promote diversity. Forty years is too long to still be having this conversation. We will intensify our efforts to listen and learn from those suffering racial injustice and bias; and we will continue to lean into our communities, lending a hand and getting engaged. This is on all of us – see something, say something, do something.”

The complete statement is available here.

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