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GEO to hold Flex-N-Gate rally today at noon

From a GEO press release: 

ADDENDUM: Rally to be held today at 12 noon, outside Huff Hall 

Flex-N-Gate Workers to Speak at Rally Urging UIUC Alumnus Shahid Khan to Improve Health and Environmental Conditions at Flex-N-Gate Plants in Urbana and Elsewhere

Urbana-Champaign (April 26)–a broad coalition of student activists and local unions will hold a major rally and speak-out today outside UIUC’s Huff Hall, (1206 S. Fourth Street, Champaign, IL), in support of local Flex-N-Gate workers demanding fair and safe working conditions from company owner Shahid Khan, UIUC Alumnus and major donor to the University.  
The rally will be held in conjunction with United Auto Workers (UAW) rallying in New York City to demand justice for workers at Flex-N-Gate plants around the country.  Speakers will include local workers at the Flex-N-Gate Guardian West plant in Urbana as well as student activists and representatives from campus and Champaign-Urbana labor unions.  
Khan is the owner of Flex-N-Gate, a company that makes car bumpers. At the Flex-N-Gate plant in Urbana, workers are forced to handle hazardous and potentially cancer causing materials, including hexavalent chromium, without the proper safety equipment. In March a “Speak Out” was held at Channing-Murray in Urbana for Flex-N-Gate workers to share their experiences with the community. 
Hexavalent chromium is the toxic and likely carcinogenic chemical made famous by Erin Brockovich, who will be appearing at the national UAW rally today in NYC.  
In addition to owning Flex-N-Gate, Khan recently became owner of the Jacksonville Jaguars. While he is willing and able to invest in new business ventures, he and his company have refused to invest in better environmental and safety conditions for his Flex-N-Gate workers. Today is the day of the NFL draft: workers in Champaign-Urbana stand with UAW workers rallying in NYC to demand that Khan show the same concern for his workers as he does for his other investments.
The University will award Khan one of two “University of Illinois Alumni Achievement Awards” at this year’s commencement ceremony.  Khan is a major donor to the University, including $10 million to build Huff Hall’s Khan Annex, his achievements as an alumnus include a legacy of ignoring even basic safety procedures at his plants.  By honoring Khan because of his substantial donations, the University sends the clear message that it is unconcerned with labor and business ethics.  

We–the Campus Labor Coalition, the Undergraduate-Graduate Alliance, the Graduate Employees Organization, and other campus and community student and labor organizations–demand that the University be held accountable for its support of Khan and his unethical, dangerous, and anti-worker business practices. 
For more information, please contact Kathryn Walkiewicz,  

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