Electrolux commits to giving minority contracts - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Electrolux commits to giving minority contracts

Electrolux is in the early phase of construction on its $80 million Memphis plant and the company says 41 percent of the money spent so far has gone to minority and women-owned businesses. Electrolux is in the early phase of construction on its $80 million Memphis plant and the company says 41 percent of the money spent so far has gone to minority and women-owned businesses.

(WMC-TV) - The mayors of Memphis and Shelby County called a news conference Tuesday morning to address controversy over minority inclusion in the construction of the upcoming Electrolux plant.

Electrolux is in the early phase of construction on its $80 million Memphis plant and the company says 41 percent of the money spent so far has gone to minority and women-owned businesses.

"The people of Memphis and Shelby County have a right to know how those funds are being spent," said Memphis Mayor A C Wharton.

Wharton and Shelby County Mayor Mark Luttrell led a news conference Tuesday morning to reiterate a commitment by Electrolux that minority and women-owned businesses would be included in the construction of the kitchen manufacturer's upcoming Memphis plant.

"This is good for the community," said Luttrell. "It's good for Electrolux, for the small businesses and the minority-owned businesses."

The contract with Electrolux came under scrutiny after news surfaced the construction project is exempt from minority inclusion in a city with a 72 percent African American population.

Electrolux project manager Jacob Burroghs said the company is taking the complaint to heart.

"There's a concern here and we're committed to addressing those concerns," he said. "It has always been our goal to fully engage with the community here in Memphis and Shelby County."

Tuesday, Electrolux released a list of five minority contractors - CDA, Inc., MIG Construction, MJ Construction, SMS Contractors and South Memphis Fence - that have been awarded $6.3 million in construction work out of the $15.3 million already spent.

Electrolux will spend another $64.7 million on construction in the coming months.

However, Wharton said local officials and the company won't be putting the deal in writing.

"The contracts are signed," he said. "We're not reopening the contracts. I think what we need to do now is forget about language and look at performance."

Copyright 2012 WMC-TV. All rights reserved.

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