The job superintendent and foreman on duty at the time that two African American employees found a noose at an Edmonds construction job site have been fired, according to a statement from the company managing construction for the project.
Seattle-based Venture General Contracting announced Thursday that it “has terminated employment of the job superintendent and foreman” who oversaw work at the 68-unit Point Edwards Building 10 construction site. The company added that it “stands with others in the Edmonds community who are appalled by this highly offensive incident.”
“We are deeply committed to maintaining an open and inclusive workplace and will continue to work openly with all parties involved as this incident is investigated,” the company said.
Details of the noose discovery unfolded in an email exchange Nov. 5 between Karen Dove, Executive Director of Apprenticeship and Non-Traditional Employment for Women (ANEW) and Edmonds City Councilmember Dave Teitzel.
Dove cited an account from the Seattle Vocational Institute, which placed one of the workers on the job site at 50 Pine St. through its Pre-Apprentice Construction Training (PACT) program. According to the account, the worker came to the job site — later identified as the Building 10 multifamily housing project at Point Edwards — to find a noose “hanging in a spot designed for him to see it.”
The student and another African American co-worker who saw the noose informed the job site foreman about the problem, but he reportedly “brushed it off” with a comment about “how the knot wasn’t tied correctly,” Dove said. Both workers then walked off the site, and one subsequently resigned his position after taking photographs documenting the incident.
Edmonds police are continuing investigating an incident, reported in our earlier story here, and have talked with both workers who found the noose, said Edmonds police spokesman Sgt. Shane Hawley. The FBI has also been notified, he added
Here is Venture General Construction’s complete statement:
“As referenced in our previous statement, Venture General Contracting strictly prohibits workplace harassment and racial intolerance and stands with others in the Edmonds community who are appalled by this highly offensive incident.
After further internal investigation, and in line with this strong commitment, Venture General Contracting has terminated employment of the job superintendent and foreman involved in the incident. We are deeply committed to maintaining an open and inclusive workplace and will continue to work openly with all parties involved as this incident is investigated.”