Memphis, Shelby County Mayors meet with Electrolux

(WMC-TV) - Under the gun about hiring local and minority contractors, Memphis and Shelby County Mayors met behind closed doors with Electrolux Thursday.

There have been major concerns on the city council and county commission about a perceived lack of local and minority participation in the Electrolux project.

Both Memphis Mayor A C Wharton and Shelby County Mayor Mark Luttrell seem confident in the company's long term commitment.

"The discussion this morning focused on the issues of small and minority businesses getting a fair representation in trying to get some of the business," said Luttrell.

Both mayors and their attorneys were in the meeting, as were local economic development leaders.

Electrolux was never contractually required to hire local or minority-owned subcontractors, despite millions of dollars in subsidies to build an appliance factory in Southwest Memphis.

The issue has been of particular concern of late to city council members.

"Some of the decisions we made in the past are coming back to haunt us," said Memphis City Council member Wanda Halbert.

Both and city and county contributed $20 million to the Electrolux project, and both mayors plan to hold the company to its word.

Wharton said last week he had faith in Electrolux moving forward.

More specifics regarding hiring and the $100 million project's timeline will reportedly be released next Tuesday.

Copyright 2012 WMC-TV. All rights reserved.