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Austin construction workers say they were mistreated on the job

The treatment of construction workers in Texas has been called into question after a group of construction workers who built off-campus dorms at the University of Texas at Austin alleged that they were forced to work under unsafe conditions and were denied pay.

The workers are being represented by a nonprofit called the Workers Defense Project, which represents Texas workers who were mistreated on the job. The non-profit has filed complaints with the city against the contractors overseeing the work at the apartment complexes.

Sadly, the complaints show how construction workers are often mistreated and exposed to dangerous working conditions in Texas. In fact, data shows that there are 10 deaths per every 10,000 construction workers in the state, which is the highest death rate in the nation for construction workers.

In discussing his work on one of the apartment complexes, a worker who asked to remain anonymous told The Daily Texan that the contractors put making a profit above safety and everything else.

"We had no safety, no water, no breaks -- nothing," the worker said. "They just wanted to finish the job fast," he continued. "They just wanted to make money and finish the job."

Because Texas is a booming market for the construction industry, there are more than 950,000 construction workers in the state, according to the 2010 U.S. Census. But unlike many other states, Texas lacks appropriate regulation and oversight of the construction industry. Unfortunately, this leads to workers being mistreated and put in harm's way.

When construction workers are injured on the job, they may have multiple courses available for pursing compensation, including a personal injury lawsuit if negligence was involved or a workers' compensation claim. Talk to an experienced personal injury lawyer for more information.

Source: The Daily Texan, "Construction workers in West Campus apartment complexes allege mistreatment, unpaid wages," Bobby Blanchard, Sept. 5, 2013

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