Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Lawsuit Seeks More Minority Construction Jobs in Illinois, courtesy of KMOX/CBS St. Louis

Attorney Eric Vickers at podium with Metro East Black Contractors Organizationtors Organization
"EAST ST. LOUIS–(KMOX)–A group representing minority workers is suing the Illinois Department of Transportation, seeking more workon the Mississippi River Bridge and other projects.
Attorney Eric Vickers says months of negotiations with IDOT have borne some results, but not enough.  “We need transformation.  We need institutional change, not something temporary, not something to just pacify the community until the pressure is off.”
The suit seeks $650 million in damages and an unspecified higher level of minority construction jobs in state transportation projects.
In a recent letter to Mayor Alvin Parks, IDOT officials claimed that 35-percent of the workforce on the bridge project are minorities, and of that group 90-percent are African-American and 85-percent live in the Metro-East.
Vickers calls those numbers “propaganda.”
“The propaganda is this: IDOT will say they have a 30 percent minority (participation), and that may be the case at that time,” Vickers said, “They will get a contractor to go load up on a job with some temporary minorities.”
IDOT is standing by its numbers and says setting a 50-percent goal for black and minority contractors —  as suggested by protestors — would be tantamount to a quota, and thus exposing the agency to the possibility of a lawsuit." Courtesy of KMOX/CBS St. Louis.

Eric Vickers, Civil Rights Attorney & Activist. Defender of the Weak and Downtrodden (I'll not hesitate to combine the power of litigation, protest, negotiation, Twitter, and Blogging to go after oppressors).

Who is Attorney Eric E. Vickers? (click the link)

Friday, September 23, 2011

Mayor Parks sees progress toward minority participation, courtesy of Examiner.com

"Thursday, September 22, 2011, East St. Louis Mayor Parks announce that he is close to a deal it include minority participation on the Mississippi River Bridge Project as well as future state projects with Governor Quinn and Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT). On Friday September 13th, Mayor Parks was about lead a pretest that would interrupt the construction of the bridge. Prior to the the press conference, IDOT Press Secretary Paris Erin read as statement for the video and did not take questions: 

"Mayor Parks continues to work with IDOT with increasing minority participation both on contracts and workforce development on the state’s transportation projects.Believe it was a productive meeting and IDOT will continue to meet with other mayors in the area."

"Attorney Eric Vickers and Bill Mason of Metro-East Black Contractors Organization (MEBCO) joined Parks in the press conference. Parks announced that the would be incentives for hiring new and minority workers. Vickers announce that there IDOT put a freeze of future contracts on the Mississippi River Bridge to allow time for negotiations to progress. While he sees progress, he warned that labor unions could be an obstacle."

"Parks argued that goals have to be put out for employers to assure that certain that certain groups are included. Parks argue that even though it's 2011, if companies are left without a goal people will be left out."  Courtesy of Damien Johnson, St. Louis Political Buzz Examiner.

Eric E. Vickers is a Civil Rights Attorney and Activist.