Kevin Killeen

ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOX) — A group seeking more construction jobs for African Americans says it will shutdown work on the new Mississippi River bridge on Monday — unless it gets what it wants out of a Friday meeting with state transportation officials.

 Dr. William Mason with the Metro East Black Contractors Organizations says they have an appointment to meet Friday with the Director of the Illinois Department of Transportation.  

“If we can’t resolve it, then you can look for us on that highway Monday,” Mason said, “Now, that’s a given.”

Mason declined to say how protesters plan to shut down the job site.   He also declined to reveal specifics of what level of minority participation the group is seeking for the project.  

But does say the frustration level is rising in the black community.

“We live in a town that’s 99-percent black and you see all the white folks working in our city and these black folks standing around training but can’t get jobs,” he said.

Mason says black workers have enrolled in training programs to learn concrete finishing, carpentry, electrical work,  and other skills  — but they aren’t getting hired to work on the bridge.

Earlier, the same group had planned to shut down the project on Friday, but that action has been postponed until Monday to allow for the meeting Friday with IDOT officials. 

Copyright KMOX Radio



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