Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Texaco Stations See Boycott; Firm Denies Any Impact So Far

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Texaco Stations See Boycott; Firm Denies Any Impact So Far

Article excerpt

NEW YORK -- Even before the Rev. Jesse Jackson's boycott of Texaco begins in earnest, gas stations are being hit at the pump, and a Texaco station owner who is a former president of a Louisiana NAACP chapter finds himself in a dilemma.

In Monroe, La., Otis Chisley says some customers, both black and white, are canceling their accounts with his gas station because of allegations of racism in Texaco's executive suite.

Chisley, a former local leader of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, says the allegations of racism at Texaco hurt him personally as an African-American. He says he will make sure his customers know any comments by company executives do not reflect his views, and hopes his business isn't hurt. Meantime, a Boston gas station that has been picketed reports a double-digit sales drop. And a Texaco customer in Atlanta says he'll follow Jackson's boycott call even if he hasn't kept up with the controversy over alleged racism in Texaco's executive suite. "Rev. Jackson's history speaks for itself, and I listen to him," said William Vinson, who is black. Although there are indications the boycott call is garnering support, Texaco officials are not confirming it has been hurt. "At this time we haven't been able to assess any impact," said spokeswoman Cynthia Mitchener at the company's White Plains, N.Y., headquarters. Jackson made the boycott call Tuesday after meeting with Texaco officials about racist comments by executives in a secretly recorded 1994 conversation about an employee discrimination case. Texaco's chairman, Peter Bijur, who is trying to settle the discrimination complaint and has deplored the racist and anti- Semitic tone of the taped meeting also has denounced the boycott call. "Boycotts are divisive," Bijur said. "Boycotts, in my view, cause economic disruption." At a news conference in Chicago on Wednesday, Jackson said he will be talking by telephone this week with ministers in 50 cities who will go to their church congregations Sunday with boycott plans. He said the ministers will tell their congregations to put away their Texaco credit cards and buy gas from other producers. …

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