SCLC protests alongside workers at Tuscaloosa VA Medical Center

SCLC joins Tuscaloosa VA protest

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - The Southern Christian Leadership Conference supported employees of the Tuscaloosa VA Medical Center as they stood in protest Sunday afternoon against alleged unfair hiring practices at the VA.

Dozens gathered outside the VA Medical center demanding fair treatment for black employees and transparency when it comes to hiring.

“We want to be hired for those jobs we’re qualified for. We have the education, we have the experience, we have the degrees, we have everything it takes for those jobs," said Dr. Juanetta Jemison, CNRP. “We protest not because we’re black. We protest because we’re qualified.”

SCLC national President Charles Steele is also calling for the removal of the Medical Center’s director John Merkle.

The Tuscaloosa VA Medical Center released a statement the following statement Friday concerning the allegations:

"Tuscaloosa VAMC has asked SCLC multiple times for details regarding the issues it is alleging, and outside of less than ten routine personnel complaints—most of which have already been resolved or are unsubstantiated—SCLC refuses to provide any specifics.

Tuscaloosa VA Medical Center stands ready to look into any of these issues right away, but so far SCLC cannot provide details that would allow us to do that.

The Tuscaloosa VA Medical Center is proud of its diverse and inclusive culture, and the facility does not tolerate discrimination or harassment of any kind. In fact, two-thirds of its workforce is made up of minorities, including its Associate Director."

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