St. Louis Public Library Construction Project Accused of Discrimination
ST. LOUIS–(KMOX)–Protestors are threatening to “shut down” construction work on the main library building downtown, unless more African Americans are hired for the multi-million dollar project.
Protestors claim they’ve been doing a head count of the job site in recent weeks and have found as many as 90 white construction workers going through the gate per day, but only a few blacks or none at all.
“If it doesn’t get any better, the protest is going to be bigger and we’re going to shut it down,” said Makal Ali with the African American Business and Contractors Association. Ali says because blacks are 50-percent of the population in the city, they should get half of the construction jobs.
The Executive Director of the Library, Waller McGuire, told KMOX by phone that 25-percent of the contractors on the job are “minority-owned” firms, and that ten-percent of the workers are black.
On Monday, KMOX saw about two dozen workers outside the building during the noon hour. One black man was present. The rest were white men.
The threatened shutdown is planned for noon on Wednesday, organizers say.