National Action Network, others protest United Electrical Contractors over allegations of racism, harassment

Activists protest outside construction site in Corktown

The National Action Network and others protested outside of a construction site in Corktown.

DETROIT – The National Action Network and others protested outside of a construction site in Corktown.

They’re demanding electrical contractors be taken off the job after a federal lawsuit alleged Black employees were subjected to racist slurs and threats. United Electrical Contractors is one of the subcontractors of the Godfrey Hotel.

Former employees have sued United Electrical Contractors, alleging a pattern of harassment and discrimination. The lawsuit was introduced in January, and litigation is pending.

More: Former employees of United Electrical Contractors allege ‘rampant racism’ in lawsuit

“When I was working there I would hear racist comments on a near daily basis toward me and Mexican employees on the job sites,” former UEC employee Tyler Richardson said.

Vance Murray worked for UEC for almost six years.

“I want to see this lawsuit make companies like United Electrical and other companies know that this is not acceptable,” Vance Murray said.

The lawsuit alleges racial slurs, threats and discriminatory job assignments are commonplace.

“Our taxes are going to fund a company that is allowing its foreman to say, ‘boy go back to your slave ship’ or to say, ‘boy I am going to pull my whip out on you.’ Our taxes, Detroit residents, all residents, Michigan residents ought to be frustrated and infuriated,” attorney Richard Mack said.

Detroit City Council member Mary Walters called it unacceptable.

“I can assure you that this company will be coming before Detroit City Council for a hearing,” Waters said. “That’s absolutely the truth.”

Read: Activists target Michigan company facing racial harassment allegations

Here’s the full statement from United Electrical Contractors:


About the Authors:

Priya joined WDIV-Local 4 in 2013 as a reporter and fill-in anchor. Education: B.A. in Communications/Post Grad in Advanced Journalism

Kayla is a Web Producer for ClickOnDetroit. Before she joined the team in 2018 she worked at WILX in Lansing as a digital producer.