500 signatures reached
To: Paul Flower, President, Woodward Design+Build
Make #BlackWorkersMatter: End the Exclusion of Black Workers from New Orleans Reconstruction
Dear Mr. Flower,
Local workers should be rebuilding the massive Reconstruction of New Orleans and Black workers have been systematically excluded.
52% of Black men in New Orleans are out of work, New Orleans has the second highest rate of income inequality in the country, Black families make half the income of white families, and 50.5% of Black children live in poverty.
As a major New Orleans contractor you have the power and the duty to do your part to end the exclusion of local Black workers from the Reconstruction of New Orleans. Today the undersigned petitioners call on you make #BlackWorkersMatter in New Orleans by committing to:
1. Employing local workers for 80% of all hours worked on all your construction projects.
2. Investing in your people by implementing apprenticeship programs for all trades on your construction sites and requiring a 3 journeymen to 1 apprentice ratio.
3. Setting a minimum wage of $15 per hour for your sites and pay at least federal prevailing wages for all workers on your construction sites.
4. Agreeing to Community Oversight of all of your projects on these commitments.
Why is this important?
"I can count on one hand the number of Black workers that work with me on Woodward construction sites" -Woodward employee
Woodward Design+Build who has been in New Orleans since the 1920's did not think you could employ 40% local workers in the 313 Carondelet Project while the Lemoine Company who has been locally based in New Orleans since 2011 reportedly employed 80% local workers on the construction of the New Orleans East Hospital.
Since Katrina New Orleans has been one of the largest construction sites in the country, meanwhile the exclusion of Black workers from the reconstruction has led to a massive Black jobs crisis- 52% of Black men are out of work, New Orleans has the second highest rate of income inequality in the country, 50.5% of Black children live in poverty and Black families make less than half the income of white families (Black families yearly median income in New Orleans is only $27,812)
Woodward Design+Build has built countless projects in Post Katrina New Orleans and is going to be breaking ground this year and next on several more their continued exclusion of Black workers from their construction sites will further exacerbate the Black jobs crisis in New Orleans and we must act now to hold them and other major contractors accountable to make #BlackWorkersMatter in New Orleans.
Local Black workers who are members of Stand with Dignity and our allies have been fighting to make #BlackWorkersMatter in New Orleans and we are winning- the City just passed a living wage ordinance for $10.55 per hour, and the Council will be considering a local hire ordinance on October 1st. These actions by our city government will go a long way but we have to hold accountable the companies who have gotten us to this point in the first place.
Sign on Now to hold contractors accountable to make #BlackWorkersMatter in New Orleans- starting with Woodward Design+Build
How it will be delivered
We will stage a press conference delivering the petitions and challenging Woodward Design+Build to make #BlackWorkersMatter in New Orleans