Demonstration planned against Continental Tire - - Jackson, MS

Demonstration planned against Continental Tire

Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT

Continental Tires is still in the beginning stages of its roll out. Ultimately, it's set to create 2,500 jobs in Hinds County, but who will hold those jobs is kicking up dust before they break ground on the project.

"Actually listen to the minority contractors in Mississippi," said Antonio Pope. "Far too long, they've been looked over. The forgotten ones, as I like to call them."

Pope formed a non-profit called No One Stands Alone at the end of June. It's sole purpose is centered around the idea that Continental won't give minority and disadvantaged business a seat at the table. 

"If you have a history of doing something, you're not going to change it," Pope noted. "So, this is not premature, it's right on time."

Pope is organizing a rally at Clinton City Hall on July 13. He said there are 50 contractors who have joined the cause but didn't have a list available.

Representative Deborah Butler Dixon says she's more concerned about the 25-hundred jobs that will be created.

"Where are the names of the people that you say are going to do this demonstration?" asked Dixon. "Are they some of the ones that have been getting minority contracts all the time?"

Dixon took us to where she once worked. And said it should serve as a warning to those now wanting to protest Continental.

"Look at General Motors," she said. "Look at Packard Electric. A great big ole business out here that doesn't have anything."

Later, Dixon noted the legislature made every effort to avoid these kinds of criticisms.

"We put the amendment in to give minorities opportunities at the table," said Dixon.  "So, we didn't have to do that."

Dixon pointed out that minority businesses doesn't just mean black-owned companies, but any minority class.

"Just because you put it in the bill doesn't mean the corporation is going to adhere to best practices," said Antonio Pope in response to the amendment.

"It's absolutely unequivocally false," added Hinds County Supervisor Robert Graham. "We have five Hinds County supervisors working together to ensure that all minority participants and all Hinds County businesses have an opportunity and a seat at the table."

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