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Dambra White Paper

Dambra White Paper

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Published by Ryan
White paper for D'Ambra Steel campaign
White paper for D'Ambra Steel campaign

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Published by: Ryan on Apr 22, 2013
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04/22/2013

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Appeal for Justice
I would like to enroll in the Coalion for Ironworker Jusce, acoalion of student groups, community organizaons andindividuals showing support for the workers at D’Ambra Steel.
 
I believe that the employees of D’Ambra Steel should be provided:
 
Fair & Safe Work Environment
 
Aordable Family Health InsuranceDignity in the Work Place
 
I would also denounce any General Contractor, Developer, Public or PrivateEnty that prots from the mistreatment of workers and believe those enesthat do so should be held accountable.
I support the workers of D’Ambra Steel! 
 
Name (Print) _______________________________________________________________
 
Occupaon or Organizaon___________________________________________________
 
Address___________________________________________________________________
 
City______________ State___________ ZIP_________ Phone ( )______
-
 ___________E
-
Mail____________________________________________________________________
 
Signature__________________________________________________________________
 
D’AMBRA STEEL:
 
Stop Reinforcing Injustice! 
Inside the campaign for justice at D’Ambra Steel
 
White Paper published by the Coalion for Ironworker Jusce, 2013
 
 
D’Ambra Steel Services
is one of the largest rebar and concretereinforcing contractors in theSouthwest. Based in Houston,Texas and with an oce inDallas, they employ many ironworkers throughout Texas, NewMexico, and Arizona.
 
They also fabricate rebar throughan associated company, D
-
FabRebar Group in El Paso, Texas.D’Ambra Steel workers helpconstruct a variety of structures,including oce buildings,apartments, highways, schools,casinos, convenon centers,government buildings, and watertreatment plants.Unfortunately, D’Ambra Steel hasa history of worker abuse andmistreatment. In May 2012,several D’Ambra workers inDallas went on strike to protestthe lack of drinking water on the jobsites, low wages and nobenets, and other injusces.One of these strikers, OmarRendon explained, “I wantD’Ambra to act responsibly andtreat us beer so that we can dohigher
-
quality work. I want themto provide the things we need atwork, like safety equipment andwater.”
 
Omar’s Story
 
“They don’t put waterout for us. They don’tgive us gloves. Theydon’t give us much of theequipment that we haveto use. We start working,but then later they justwant more, more, andmore. There are meswhen it’s a struggle,you’re red. They’ll makeyou work late one day,and the next day they’llmake you go in late. On anormal day, [I work] only eight hours.
[Somemes] they make us work late,
unl nine, ten, eight. And the followingday they make us go in late. You can’t goin early, they make you go in late.
[I’m striking] to see if they change
things, if they improve things. That theyprovide water for us, because they don’teven give us a cooler for water. Thatthey treat us beer. [In terms of safetyequipment, the company] doesn’tprovide anything. First of all, [you need]a harness, gloves, goggles, they don’tprovide a hardhat; they provide none of these things. One has to buy it.More than anything, when one getshurt, it’s the scratches, it’s the cuts, andyou have to take care of them on yourown. Your hands get cut, since the barsare sharp, you get cut, and you just haveto take care of it on your own. The boss just says, “Oh, that’s nothing.” That’swhat he says, just like that.
Omar Rendon,striking worker
 
D’Ambra Steel is usually hired by generalcontractors. These businesses, the projectowners, and associated public enesshould demand that all contractors on the jobsite treat workers fairly, obey the law, andmaintain the highest standards of ethicalbusiness pracces.
All those organizaons that prot fromD’Ambra Steel’s work are morallyaccountable and ulmately responsible forthe pracces that D’Ambra Steel uses.
Theyshould say unequivocally that they willnot support businesses that abuseworkers and ensure that all current andfuture projects do not contract with, andwill not contract with unscrupulous
Coalition for Ironworker Justice
E-mail: coalitionforjustice@yahoo.comPhone: (214) 673 4139
University of Texas students, public employees, and other supporters stand with striking workers in front of theUT System Administration oces waiting to speak to a representative. D’Ambra Steel workers haveexperienced abusive conditions at several UT System institutions, including UTD and MD Anderson.
 
Is your organizaon or company commied to protecng workers from the sort of abuses described inthis document? Sign and return the“Appeal for Jusce” included here! 
 
 
Workers at D’Ambra Steel are forced towalk a ghtrope every day, strugglingto balance the demands for long anduninterrupted work days, workingwithout adequate safety protecons,and the understanding that, if something were to happen to them onthe job, it’s very likely that it could costthem dearly.As D’Ambra Steel employee JorgeBalderas explained, “If we all fought forour rights, they’re going to have tolisten to us
--
because without us, theycan’t do anything.” This is exactly whatsome D’Ambra Steel workers havedecided to do, and they have foundsupport among many communityorganizaons in the Dallas and Houstonmetropolitan areas.
 
These community supporters includeindividuals as well as organizaons of students, people of faith, and acvistssupporng the rights of workers andimmigrants. They have been moved byhearing about the struggle of workersat D’Ambra Steel and frequently jointhe strikers to discuss their issues withdevelopers, project owners, and thegeneral public.
 
Jorge’s Story
 
“D’Ambra doesn’t provide medicalinsurance. My wife is sick, she has cancer.At the hospital, they asked me if thecompany I worked for provided insurance.I told them no. They sent a leer toD’Ambra [verifying medical insurance], andthey didn’t respond. My wife’s treatmentwas delayed because the companywouldn’t respond. If I’d been here [inDallas] and hadn’t gone [to the D’Ambraoce in Houston] personally, they wouldnever have responded.[Medical insurance is] a benet that wouldbe good to have. If you get hurt on the job, you have to do whatever you can onyour own. They don’t help you at all. If youget hurt and you go home, you don’t getpaid. And you have to pay for thetreatment. Your loss is doubled then.That they provide tools, that they provideinsurance, that they simply treat us beer.That’s all we want.”
 
Jorge Balderas, striking worker
 
A striking D’Ambra worker and supporter hold a banner infront of MD Anderson Hospital in Houston, TX
 
These condions are not unique toDallas—less than a month later,
over 70 D’Ambra Steel workerswalked of a jobsite in Houston
overfrequent and arbitrary pay cuts andother issues. Jaime Nieves relatedthat he had enough aer witnessinga co
-
worker be hospitalized for heatstroke because of the job. “D’Ambradoes nothing,” Nieves said. “Theysaid they did not care and were notresponsible for this incident. Myfriend had to pawn his car to paythe rent because D’Ambra does notcare.”
 
Agustin’s
 Story
“I began to feelbad from heatstroke, but I keptworking. I wentto rest my feet,but the managertold me I could wait...but I couldn'twait. I spoke to my wife, and told herto come get me, because I was verysick. Four hours later, they took me tothe hospital. I was there for eight daysrecovering.I went to the managers of D'Ambra todrop o the papers that said I was inthe hospital, but the managers toldme, ‘We didn't know anything aboutyou geng sick on the job. Do youwant to work, or not?’ I told them Ineed help for the days I was in thehospital and unable to work, so now Ihave no money and I can't eat. I'vehad to sell the tle of my car to paymy rent and other things. I have topay $20,000, but I can't pay that onmy salary, which is why I went onstrike. “
 
D’Ambra Steel workers and their communityallies speak to a project owner about poorworking condions at Parkland Hospital.
 
A D’Ambra Steel worker in Houstondescribes mistreatment and appalling safetyconcerns on the Exxon Mobil project site.
 
Agustin Muños, striking

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