Why Won't Pres. Daniel Make UTD a "Tier One" Campus for Workers?

President Daniel may be leading an impressive campaign to gain "Tier One" research university status for University of Texas at Dallas, but his administration has fallen behind on supporting those who make the university work. In May 2012, several workers from a reinforcing steel subcontractor, D'Ambra Steel Services, went on strike to protest poor working conditions at various projects, including the Arts and Technology (ATEC) Building at UTD. Their issues range from inadequate access to drinking water and quality safety equipment to low wages and no health care even for work-related injuries. These workers have attempted to meet with a representative of UTD to discuss these concerns. Instead of meeting with them, these workers, students, and community allies were detained by the police, kicked off campus, and their formal letter of complaint completely ignored. Weeks later, a tragic accident left two workers dead at the ATEC construction site after a crane collapse. According to Jorge Balderas, one of the D'Ambra Steel strikers, there had been safety incidents involving the crane at the ATEC prior to this tragedy-but UTD failed to take worker concerns seriously.

A tragic crane collapse left two workers dead at UTD on July 7, 2012. OSHA is currently investigating the incident.

We don't know for sure if anything could have prevented the accident on July 7, but we do know that strengthening oversight on these projects can only improve worker and student safety. Pres. Daniel and UTD: We urge you to do the right thing and stop rewarding irresponsible subcontractors like D'Ambra Steel Services and Great Western Erectors with future campus work. With steps like these, you can become a "Tier One" campus for workers and a shining example of ethical growth for the region.

Coalition for Ironworker Justice
A public service message from the Coalition for Ironworker Justice. E-mail: coalitionforjustice@yahoo.com 1005 W Jefferson Blvd #300, Dallas, TX 75208. Toll-Free: 1-866-GWE-JUST.

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