The NAACP is seeking a meeting with BP CEO Tony Hayward to address concerns that minorities are being hired for the most dangerous jobs in assisting with the oil spill clean up, and “to ensure that all communities, including communities of color along the Gulf Coast are fully restored and receive needed support and assistance from BP.”
In a letter to Hayward dated July 8, NAACP President and CEO Benjamin Todd Jealous, said “Workers of color tend to be assigned the most physically difficult, lowest paying jobs, with the most significant exposure to toxins, while white workers tend to be in supervisory, less strenuous positions.” He urged BP to establish monitoring mechanisms to make sure that workers of color were given better paying jobs.
The storied civil rights organization, which is holding its 101st annual convention in Kansas City, Missouri, this weekend, is also demanding equal opportunity in hiring, contracting, health protections for worker, and more help for affected communities.
In a press conference slated for Saturday, Jealous, NAACP board chairman Roslyn M. Brock, and EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson will all discuss a new EPA and NAACP collaboration on the ongoing response to the Gulf oil spill.
BP declined to comment because it hadn’t reviewed the letter.
Separately, the NAACP convention will also focus on education, unemployment and other issues that have disproportionately affected minorities. First Lady Michelle Obama and the Revs. Jesse L. Jackson and Al Sharpton are scheduled to address the convention.