According to a recent report from Texas KVUE News, hundreds of
constructions workers and their supporters marched to the State Capitol yesterday seeking better wages and safer working conditions.
The protesters made their pleas known visually—by carrying 138 coffins around the capital city, as a way to pay tribute to Texans who have died on the job within the last two years.
The Workers Defense Project says Texas is the most dangerous and unhealthy state to work in for construction workers. The group is heavily promoting their grassroots efforts and calling on legislators to take immediate action, by make positive changes to Texas jobsites and construction regulations.
“We are actually demanding better treatment for construction people, construction workers,” stated Abel Lopez, a native construction worker. “We’re looking for safety and workers compensation.”
The lack large companies and independent employers carrying adequate Texas workers compensation worries the construction workers who risk their safety—and their lives—daily on hazardous job sites.
“Every two and a half days a worker dies on the job in this state, and one in five workers is injured in the job every year without worker’s comp,” civil rights attorney, Chris Benoit, said. “We are the only state in the union that doesn’t have mandatory workers compensation for workers on the job.”
As reported from KVUE, there are several proposed bills before legislators this session. One would require construction employers to carry workers compensation; others look at the lack of rest breaks, safety trainings, and tax fraud.