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Protestors call out developer for employing contractor accused of racist behavior

Dozens of protesters made their way from the University of Michigan’s Diag to a downtown construction site on Martin Luther King Jr. Day. They were calling out a developer for employing a contractor accused of racist behavior.

The issue at hand is Landmark Properties’ hiring of United Electrical Contractors for work on the construction of The Standard housing development in downtown Ann Arbor.

United is currently being sued by six former employees for alleged racist behavior by co-workers at other job sites in Michigan. The former employees allege they were subjected to racial epithets and mistreatment.

The protesters are calling on Landmark to cut ties with United.

Rev. Charles Williams II is the president of the Michigan chapter of the National Action Network. He says this is civil rights and workers’ rights coming together.

“We gotta be strong for voting rights. We gotta be strong for education. We gotta be strong for poverty. We gotta be strong for workers’ rights. We gotta be strong for discrimination on the job site. It all works together.”

Landmark Properties said in a statement:

Landmark Properties are aware of and is actively monitoring the allegations and pending proceedings to United Electric Contractors. At this time, neither the statements from the claimants nor our own investigation indicate that the alleged conduct occurred on our project site. We continue to review information surrounding this matter as it becomes available. We continue to monitor our job sites and surrounding areas for vandalism. Landmark Properties does not tolerate any form of workplace discrimination or harassment and follows all applicable federal, state and local anti-discrimination and harassment laws and regulations.

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Josh Hakala is the general assignment reporter for the WEMU news department.
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