BY BETTY JEAN GRANT
On Monday, May 9th, 2016, the Contract Compliance Review Committee, chaired by BUILD President Charlie Fisher and County Legislator Betty Jean Grant, will hold a protest rally outside of the headquarters of LP Ciminelli Construction, at 2421 Main Street at 10:00 am.
The event will protest LP Ciminelli’s lack of cooperation and refusal to honor a request under the Freedom of Information Act — or to return a phone call to garner information regarding their SolarCity project and minority and women hiring practices.
According to an article in The Buffalo News’ May 3rd edition, business reporter David Robinson regurgitated Ciminelli’s assertion that minority and women make up nearly a quarter of the workforce in building the factory. He further stated that minorities and women have worked 24.6% of work hours on the SolarCity construction project since it began in May 2014.
That report does not document the actual number of live body workers who worked those 24.6% of manpower hours. Was it a few workers working 80 hours a week or was it more workers working a normal 40 hours shift? When one reports on hours worked instead of the names or number of workers, the actual and correct data can be misinterpreted.
Robinson also stated that the diversity of the workforce on the RiverBend project is exceeding the goals of 14% for minorities and 5% for women, which was set in a project labor agreement between the contractor, local labor unions, and Mayor Byron Brown. The reporter failed to mention that the project labor agreement’s original goals were 20% minority and 5% women when the project was first discussed and announced by the Mayor.
With the state now envisioning a newly announced goal of 25 and 5%, and Governor Andrew Cuomo signing that particular minority and women hiring goal into law in 2014, the paltry 18.4% for minority and 6.2% for women should not make us proud. We are asking community leaders, minority and women workforce developers, sub-contractors, and other concerned individuals to join us as we fight for jobs and training opportunities for our men and women.
The rally will start promptly at 10:00 A.m., on Monday, May 9th. Please join us as we fight for our youth and our community. For more information, please contact Betty Jean Grant at (716) 602-5877 or Charley H. Fisher at (716) 650-8889.