Kansas City, MO – Five African American members of Sheet Metal Workers Number 2 are suing their union in federal court for race discrimination. They're alleging they've been passed over fpr construction jobs over the last five years. During this period, Kansas City has enjoyed a tremendous building boom. Minority leaders have been at odds with city officials and the construction industry as to whether jobs have been fairly distributed.
The plaintiffs are asking for back wages as well as compensatory and punitive damages. They are also asking for credit towards lost seniority.
Robert G. Franklin is one of the plaintiffs.
Officials with the Sheet Metal Workers Local #2 did not want to be interviewed for this story, and referred us to their attorney Don Aubry, who offered a statement on the union's behalf.