Brian Kelly

EAST ST. LOUIS (KMOX)-There’s renewed hope that the threatened shutdown of the Mississippi River Bridge Construction project by contractors and workers seeking more minority jobs on the project, has been averted.

East St. Louis Mayor Alvin Parks says “significant progress” was made on several fronts during a meeting Friday that included Governor Pat Quinn, by phone, and the governor’s diversity director, in person. Parks told a crowd in his city hall conference room,  “There are several issues that are being worked upon, being addressed by the governor’s office to continue moving the numbers upward when it comes to minority participation and most importantly what that means, and especially for many of the people in this room, is finding ways to put the people to work.”

Some of the workers who packed the room wore shirts reading “Stop IDOT Racism”. Many had planned to shut down the project this morning after little progress had been made in three previous meetings, but that was put off so today’s meeting could be held.

Parks says one key is a promise by Quinn’s office to pressure contractors to demand that unions send them more black workers, “What we want to do is we make sure that we say,  ‘Please look for black and other minority workers out of these unions,” that’s one step. The second step is make sure we’re talking to contractors who are looking for jobs in the future to say the same thing.”

Despite the progress some members of the Metro East Black Contractors Organization were still calling for a shutdown, but MEBCO Attorney Eric Vickers said now is not the time for such an action, “The only reason why we are not moving right now is because the Governor’s office has shown itself to be involved and to be committed to making some things happen, and we said that needs to happen right away.”

MEBCO President, Dr. Bill Mason said the reason they were going to shut down the project, is to get the attention of state officials, and he says they now have their attention.

But Parks says if there is no agreement next Thursday, a new shutdown date could be set.

Copyright KMOX Radio

  1. Dr S. Brooks, DPM says:

    IDOT is not racist! They just don’t believe in hiring ghettto thug trash! I am a black perosn who paid this black thug, Carlos Anthony of (so-called) Anthony and Son Construction $235 to do my driveway and the thug did nothing and now he will not answer the phone number of (314) 791-4405. I only used this ghetto trash because the landlord of the building I practice out of used him for his driveway only to find out that he, the lnadlord, George Laktzian, himself was scammed out of $75 for more material but NEVER showed back up once he got it! Also, a local restaurant (Stevie Ray’s) was scammed ou tof $600! Neither of these bad business men are even trying to file a complaint against this thug (perhaps they are embarssed that they trusted this thug)! But I am too p off to be embarassed and I want justice NOT to mention that legitimate WHITE driveway contractors are losing business to this fraudulant ghetto thug! If IDOT knows what is good for them they leave those black contractors alone! I tried to give a fellow balck person an opportunity and now I am out of $235!
    I would track this thug down myself and demand my money back but he only had a PO Box as an address and no one knows exactly where he lives except that it is somewhere in crime riddled Cahokia, IL! DON’T EVER USE BLACK CONTRACTORS!

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