Construction Workers Call For Better Wages And Working Conditions

Jun 27, 2017

Local construction workers and labor advocates were at the Charlotte City Council Monday night seeking better working conditions. They want the council to require developers to disclose labor practices when they apply for approval of their projects.

About 30 people rallied outside the Government Center, and several spoke during the council's public forum.

Organizers quoted from a recent study funded by labor advocates, titled "Build a Better South." It found low wages, a lack of benefits and training and other concerns in six southern cities, including Charlotte. That's despite a booming market for new construction across the region. 

"We found that many construction workers here in Charlotte are making under $15 an hour. Very few workers actually have access to formal training, and those who have received formal training often have to pay for that out of pocket," said Jackie Cornejo of the Partnership for Working Families. She was one of the study's co-authors.

The study also found that most workers don't get benefits or workers compensation to pay for on-the-job injuries.  The authors interviewed 1,400 construction workers across the south, including 200 in Charlotte.

The council took no action on the request.