Group calls on Metro, contractors after construction site deaths

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – Advocacy groups are speaking out and defending Nashville construction workers while they describe what they call “unsafe working conditions.”

Their most recent requests come after three workers died on the job this summer.

Nashville’s historic growth continues, but beneath that new skyline lies hours of hard labor by hundreds of construction workers, some of whom worry they may not go home.

“If nothing changes, what we’re afraid of is there’s going to be more deaths,” said Rodrigo Robles.

Robles is an organizer with Workers Dignity, a group advocating for low wage workers across the city.

“I definitely think there is an unsafe situation here in Nashville,” he added.

These unsafe conditions, Robles says, have been on display all summer long, after the deaths of Sergio Gutierrez, Alfonso Dominguez, and most recently Fausto Flores.

The deaths were the focus of a vigil, held last week by Workers Dignity and other groups.

“We have to see a change,” said Organizer Neptali Perez, speaking through a translator. “I think for me, as somebody who’s part of the working class, it doesn’t matter how difficult it is, we’re going to keep fighting.”

Perez is a former Nashville construction worker, who’s now a member of the movement.

The group is calling on contractors, as well as Metro Council, asking that the council pressure contractors to be more accountable, while asking that contractors provide a fund for families of workers killed.

“We hope to get that done by putting pressure on them,” said Robles.

The pressure is rising, with another accident in Green Hills on Thursday, where a worker was critically hurt, following a two story fall.

“Nashville’s growing,” added Robles. “But, on top of that, everybody is putting all this hard work in, and putting their lives at risk.”

According to the Tennessee Department of Labor, there have been 10 construction related fatalities this year statewide.

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