Black workers

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More Vikings impressions



According to an inside source, I wouldn’t be too far off when I said to them that there were more Black workers than Black fans at Sunday’s Minnesota-Cleveland football game at the Metrodome. A three-year Black female stadium worker told the MSR that she estimates at least 70 percent of the game-day workforce is Black – her husband has worked at the Dome for eight years.  As a result it’s safe to say that maybe three to five percent of the 63,000-plus in attendance were Black. “I’m a diehard Vikings fan, and I was born and raised in Tampa, Florida,” says Sylvester Blue, who now lives in Dallas, Texas.  “I’ve been a fan since I was four years old, and I’m 48 now. I work hard all my life and for me to get a chance to come see them live and in person, that’s the ultimate for me.”


J.T. Jones, who was part of a traveling group from Atlanta, Ga. admitted that his group earlier talked about not seeing more Blacks at pro football games, whether in the Twin Cities or his hometown.  “We got a good price on tickets,” says Jones.  He added that a possible reason for the lack of Blacks at NFL games can be attributed to financial concerns.  “We can’t splurge as much as we want to.  We pick and choose what we splurge,” he explains.  “You look on TV and it never looks like there are Blacks at games.”

“I’m a big football fanatic.  I work hard to enjoy the things I love, and football is one of them. Continue Reading →

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City confirms ballpark ‘minority’ hiring goals met



But participation by Black workers remains unverified 
By Charles Hallman

Staff Writer


This story was originally printed in the June 10, 2010 edition of the MSR regarding the Minneapolis Civil Rights Department’s inability to report Black inclusion on the construction of the Twins stadium because the department does not — neither at the time this story was printed nor currently — specify any worker breakdown by ethnicity.  

In a story published last January 14 [2009 “Stadium’s construction workforces mostly White — but less so than usual”], the MSR provided workforce hiring diversity data released by the Twins stadium project’s general contractor…

[Minneapolis Civil Rights Director Velma] Korbel confirmed last week that the Minnesota Ballpark Authority (MBA) met its hiring goals: participation of over 25 percent persons of color and around six percent women on the Twins stadium project. Her department has approved the Authority’s supplied workforce data…

However, the MBA website provides only aggregate numbers for a “minority labor force” with no indication of how many African Americans were part of this workforce. Since it appears that the Civil Rights Department did not have access to data that would enable verification of African American participation, there is no way to document how many, if any, Black workers participated in the construction project. Why did the monitoring have to be done through a special contract that prohibits making the results public without the Ballpark Authority’s consent? Continue Reading →

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Blacks most likely to be long-term unemployed

But less likely to get unemployment insurance benefits 

For Black workers, it’s a one-two punch to their economic security: Blacks are not only disproportionately more likely than Whites or Hispanics to experience long-term unemployment, they are less likely than Whites to benefit from unemployment insurance (UI), a new report from the Urban Institute’s Unemployment and Recovery project shows. Even when taking into account differences in education, past employment, and reasons for unemployment, there is an eight percent gap in the receipt of UI benefits between Whites versus Blacks and Latinos. African Americans, 11.6 percent of the labor force in February, were 22.9 percent of those unemployed for more than six months. Latinos were 15.7 percent of the labor force but 18.1 percent of the long-term unemployed. The comparable figures for Whites were 72.7 and 59.1 percent, respectively. Continue Reading →

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