BLACK CHURCH LEADERS CHALLENGE FRENCH FIRM’S CONTRACT BID

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 12-18-13, 8:45 PM
 
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MEDIA CONTACT:  Reverend Mark V. Scott, 202-600-5255mvscott617@gmail.com
 
BLACK CHURCH  LEADERS CHALLENGE FRENCH FIRM’S CONTRACT BID
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BOSTON, MAOn December 18, 2013 black clergy will send a letter to Beverly Scott articulating their opposition to the bid submitted by Keolis to take over the contract for running the commuter rail in the greater Boston area. The majority shareholder in Keolis, the French rail firm Sociétié Nationale des Chemins de fer Francais (SNCF), has a long record of discrimination in a variety of areas, primarily against black employees currently, and a history of highly unethical behavior regarding Jews during World War II.
 
Black clergy’s involvement in this issue is consistent with the long term commitment of activist black clergy to the well being of black youth, in particular poor black youth, who might benefit from employment opportunities with companies such as the commuter rail. Black clergy are opposing the Keolis bid for two reasons.
•       First, it is our view that the Commonwealth of Massachusetts should not be in the business of rewarding firms which have a consistent track record of racial discrimination and injustice.
•       Second, young black and brown people’s opportunity to gain employment with the commuter rail may be hindered by the operation of the commuter rail by Keolis if the history of SNCF is any indication.
The clergy will request a meeting with Dr. Beverly Scott and Governor Deval Patrick to discuss these issues. Clergy are also exploring the possibility of conducting a fact finding trip to Paris to meet with black and North African current and former employees of SNCF.
 
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