After string of construction worker deaths, coalition pushes for changes

Local News

As Nashville’s unprecedented growth continues, you may have spotted cranes across town.   

Behind all Middle Tennessee projects are thousands of construction workers.  

A string of worker’s deaths last summer has labor groups calling for change.  

Just beneath the steady hum of Nashville growth, a new sound arose in the North Gulch on Wednesday.  

A coalition of labor groups marched down North 11th Street, sharing their story.  

“Part of our goal is to let workers know they do have rights,” said Rosa Ponce, with the International Union of Painters.  

It was only one year ago, that Fausto Flores was killed while working on a North Gulch building.  

His death was the third construction death last summer alone in Nashville.

According to the Tennessee Department of Labor, there were 10 construction deaths across the North and South Nashville Divisions last year. These divisions cover most Middle Tennessee counties. 

To date this year, there have been five construction deaths in the same area.  

The coalition believes part of the problem is a lack of training for employees and a lack of accountability with contractors.  

“Nobody is being held accountable,” Rosa added. “We’re hoping that city officials will begin to listen to the voice of workers.” 

In the case of Fausto Flores, TOSHA cited Navor Framing LLC with two violations, claiming the company ‘did not provide a training program for each employee who was exposed to fall hazards.’ 

Flores died after falling from the fourth floor of the building.  

The coalition said Flores’ story is far too common.  

“We want the city officials to hear the voices of these workers and begin to work with us on finding some solutions,” said Rosa.  

The labor groups told News 2 they hope to organize a town hall in the near future so that both workers and city leaders can meet, and discuss possible safety solutions.  

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