NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – A group of iron workers at four major Middle Tennessee construction projects have put down their tools and walked off the job.
Eight workers claim their wages are the lowest in the country for people in their profession, and their working environment is unsafe and unfair. Read more about why they’re on strike here.
The construction projects they walked away from were at the Westin Hotel, SESAC on Music Row, the Lifepoint office building in Brentwood and West 46 off Charlotte Avenue.
The striking workers claim their wages are the lowest in the country for people in their profession, and their working environment is unsafe and unfair.
The iron workers said their company K&D LLC provides transportation from Manchester to Nashville to work but the vans are too unsafe to travel in.
News 2 spoke with the company owner Chad Hillis who said, “It’s all lies.”
He said he would only agree to an interview if he can confront accusers face-to-face.
As far as the van, Hillis said that’s a courtesy and he doesn’t have to provide them transportation at all.
The workers also allege they work up to 18 hours at a time and don’t get benefits.
“We’re the lowest paid in the country, and we do the hardest work out here, man,” said striking worker Jason Reece said.
Reece said this is a dangerous job and making about $15 an hour is not worth it.
“Real dangerous. You can get killed at any given time,” he added.
He said besides wanting better wages, workers need benefits.
“We build hospitals, and we ain’t even got insurance to go use the hospital. We build stadiums, and we can’t go see game played,” Reece said.
Thursday morning, they protested outside the Westin Hotel, chanting, “Workers united will never be defeated.”
Workers said they do understand some people are going to criticize them for walking off the job giving up the money they were making, but they said it’s a sacrifice they are willing to make.
“You got to fight for what you believe in,” Reece said.
“Somebody has to take the stance or it will never change,” Eckles said.
The workers are not represented by a union. The workers have the support of the group Middle Tennessee Jobs with Justice.
The group plans to continue to strike for as long as they have too. K&D owner said three of them are back on the job.