Flex-N-Gate Workers Call for Better Working Conditions

Published 03/10 2012 06:50PM

Updated 03/10 2012 11:04PM

URBANA -- Workers with Urbana-based Flex-N-Gate company are calling for better working conditions.

Unions and activists held a rally Saturday, protesting the corporation. Flex-N-Gate owns a number of manufacturing plants throughout the Midwest. Workers came from as far as Veedersburg, Indiana to attend. They wanted to call attention to the conditions at these Flex-N-Gate Plants. Workers say they work with a lot of chemicals - some known to cause cancer. They don't think the company has been following proper safety procedures. Some also say there's been discrimination towards those who blew the whistle.

Jules Savin works at the Urbana plant. He's from the Congo and speaks limited English.

"Ever since he and the other Congalese people spoke up, they did get safe equipment," said Savin's interpreter, Carol Spindel. "But ever since then, the company doesn't hire Congalese people anymore."

"We deserve decent wages," said Douglas Hunt, another worker. "We're just like them, trying to make a living - trying to feed our families."

Flex-N-Gate builds auto parts. It's owned by local businessman Shahid Khan. He's known most recently for purchasing the Jacksonville Jaguars Football Team.

WCIA has been trying to reach out to company officials since Friday. As of Saturday, there's been no word yet.

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