After a noose was found at NC plant, Merck launches internal investigation while decrying racist acts
Merck is investigating after it says a noose was found at one of its manufacturing plants in the Durham, NC area, prompting a fierce rebuke from the company, the Raleigh News & Observer reported Sunday.
The alleged noose was removed from the New Jersey drugmaker’s facility immediately, the company told the paper in an email, after being found at a construction site for the 262-acre facility. An email signed by 17 executives went out to employees saying racist acts won’t be tolerated, according to the News & Observer.
“We have zero tolerance for hate, racism, or discrimination in our workplace or society,” the company said in statement emailed to Endpoints News on Monday. “Currently, we are investigating the incident that occurred at our Durham, NC site.”
Merck has not said whether local or federal law enforcement are investigating the incident.
“As a leadership team, we are disgusted that anyone on our plant site would engage in such behavior,” the company told the News & Observer.
The site has been tasked with manufacturing J&J’s Covid-19 vaccine. The government finalized a $105 million contract to outfit the plan with repairs for production. In October 2020, the company announced that the construction of a new plant will be used to produce BCG, an immunotherapy that has been used for decades to treat bladder cancer. It’s a project that will take five to six years to complete, but Merck has said it will triple the company’s production to help meet demand.
Amazon has recently shut down the construction of a new fulfillment center in Windsor, CT after several nooses had been found around the site, starting on April 27. Construction at that plant was halted, and the FBI and local police departments have been investigating the incident as a potential hate crime, CNN reported. Construction was finally halted after the eighth noose was found at the site.