DETROIT – The National Action Network and others demonstrated outside a construction site in Corktown.
They are demanding that electrical contractors be removed from their jobs after a federal lawsuit alleged that black employees were subjected to racial slurs and threats. United Electrical Contractors is one of the Godfrey Hotel’s subcontractors.
Former employees sued United Electrical Contractors, alleging a pattern of harassment and discrimination. The lawsuit was filed in January and litigation is ongoing.
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“When I was working there, I heard almost daily racist comments towards me and the Mexican employees on the job sites,” said former UEC employee Tyler Richardson.
Vance Murray worked for the UEC for almost six years.
“I want to see this lawsuit let companies like United Electrical and others know that this is not okay,” Vance Murray said.
The lawsuit alleges that racial slurs, threats and discriminatory work assignments are commonplace.
“Our tax dollars are going to fund a company that allows its foreman to say, ‘Boy, get back on your slave ship,’ or say, ‘Boy, I’m going to shoot you.’ Our taxes, Detroit residents, all residents, Michigan residents should be frustrated and furious,” attorney Richard Mack said.
Detroit City Council member Mary Walters called it unacceptable.
“I can assure you that this company will come before the Detroit City Council for a hearing,” Waters said. “That’s absolutely the truth.”
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Here is the full statement from United Electrical Contractors:
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