Sergio Gutierrez, 30 years old, died in May. He was electrocuted while working in a downtown project. Alfonso Dominguez, 61 years old, died in a fall in July. And Fausto Flores, 42 years old, fell to his death while building the Solis North Gulch apartments on July 22nd; in an area that has experienced rapid gentrification in the past several years.
Yesterday, we held a vigil to honor their lives and to call for changes.
“A great city can grow without these preventable deaths,” said Stand Up Nashville spokesperson Odessa Kelly. “Metro Government can lead by example and demand the safest conditions on the tax-incentive projects that drive development. No one who builds homes for their neighbors should worry about getting home safely.”
Neptali Perez, Workers’ Dignity organizer, said, “Nashville is growing, but on the backs of construction workers who face injury and death. We want to see action taken by the authorities; we don’t want this to happen to any more of our friends and community members again.”
We urge Metro Council:
- Approve laws that require construction contractors be accountable for unsafe working conditions, wage theft, and other labor violations.
- Deny zoning changes for projects that hire contractors and subcontractors with a history of health and safety violations.
- Transparency for all projects that receive tax breaks from the municipal government (TIF, PILOT, abatements, and others).
We urge general contractors:
- Construction Enterprises, Inc, the general contractor over the Solis North Gulch project, pay the funeral and return of Fausto Flores’ remains as a basic act of human compassion.
- No more use of temp work agencies. These agencies have a long history of labor abuse.
- Use apprenticeship programs authorized by the Department of Labor, and hire workers that come from communities traditionally excluded from quality construction jobs.