CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) – Civil rights groups and black construction workers stood outside the current Sherwin-Williams headquarters on Thursday, demanding that the company live up to its pledge.
“This is what we demand: [it’s] our place at the table, ”said Norm Edwards of the Black Entrepreneur Group.
Protesters say the Cleveland-based paint company is breaking their promise to name a black-owned company as one of the main contractors for the construction of their new downtown headquarters.
“They just want to give us peanuts, and we’re better than peanuts,” Edwards said.
Sherwin-Williams yesterday released a statement announcing that it had hired 5 minority companies for construction management services, as well as carpentry, painting and carpentry. According to the demonstrators, these positions are not enough.
“You’re talking about millions to just a hundred thousand,” Edwards said. “We’re talking about $ 25 million to $ 30 million contracts for white entrepreneurs and $ 100 to $ 200,000 for black entrepreneurs.”
Southern Christian Leadership Conference President Dr Charles Steele Jr. said the lack of inclusion extends beyond Cleveland. “
19 News has contacted Sherwin-Williams to get a response to protesters’ claims at the protest. A spokesperson referred to 19 News in yesterday’s press release. The Cleveland-based company is in its second phase of a three-part design process, which could lead the way by the end of the year.
“Sherwin Williams, we’re not leaving, we’re here for the long haul,” Edwards said.
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