By Pat Loeb

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — U.S. Mint officials and union leaders representing workers at the Mint in Philadelphia have gone silent after the New York Times reported on an incident of ethnic intimidation there.

According to the Times report, a white male Mint employee shaped a rope, normally used for tying up coin bags, into a noose and left it at the work station of an African-American co-worker.

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Mint officials declined to talk about it, but sent an email statement, saying “We have absolutely zero tolerance for the kind of misconduct reported at the Mint. Secretary Mnuchin has directed that this matter be handled swiftly and seriously. The investigation is moving ahead quickly…we strive every day for a workplace environment that is welcoming and safe for all.”

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More puzzling is the union’s silence on the matter. Local officials hung up when asked about it, and didn’t respond to subsequent calls.

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The national union didn’t return numerous calls, but sent a statement saying they’re “distressed at the nature of this incident and anxiously await the agency’s findings on the matter.”