Tag archives for construction workers
When Bethany Boggess first debuted her online mapping project, she didn’t expect it to attract so much attention. But within just six months of its launch, people from all over the world are sending in reports and helping her build a dynamic picture of the lives and deaths of workers.
Climbing the corporate ladder is usually associated with promotions, salary raises and executive offices. But for many workers, the common metaphor is part of a real-life job description with real-life risks.
Last weekend, construction worker Jose Perez stood up and spoke about life as a construction worker in one of then nation’s most prosperous cities. In front of him were hundreds of supporters who had gathered in downtown Austin, Texas, to call on a local developer to treat its workers better. Looming behind him was the new Gables Park Tower, an unfinished luxury apartment complex where construction workers have reported dangerous working conditions and frequent wage violations.
Fair working standards for construction workers and financial profit for developers aren’t incompatible, according to a new report from Texas’ Workers Defense Project. In fact, consumers are actually willing to pay more to live in places built on principles of safety, economic justice and dignity.
When I asked Teresa Schnorr why we should be worried about the loss of a little-known occupational health data gathering program, she quoted a popular saying in the field of surveillance: “What gets counted, gets done.”
Eric Rodriguez and his colleagues at the Latino Union of Chicago quite literally meet workers where they’re at — on the city’s street corners. Many of the day laborers who gather there are hired to work construction at residential housing sites. Work arrangements are hardly formal and day laborers are frequently subjected to unnecessary and illegal dangers on the job. Unfortunately, worker safety is often kicked to the curb in the street corner marketplace.
Wage theft, employee misclassification, and unsafe workplaces are alarmingly common in the Texas construction industry; the Philadelphia City Council fails to override a veto of a paid sick leave law; and immigrant workers in the US with temporary visas face uncertainty.