Release: Workers Defense Project Urges Dallas City Council to Take Action to Protect Workers

Workers Defense Project Urges Dallas City Council to Take Action to Protect Workers

Action Follows Heat Stroke Death of North Texas Construction Worker

DALLAS, TX – Workers Defense Project will hold a candlelight vigil for 25-year-old construction worker Roendy Granillo who died July 19 from heat stroke. The vigil begins at 8 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 11 at Dallas City Hall at the corner of Young and Akard streets.

Mr. Granillo was working at a home, located at 3421 Hawthorn Ave. in Melissa, when he began to suffer symptoms of heat stroke. He was taken to Medical Center McKinney where he died.

The Collin Medical Examiner confirmed his cause of death was due to heat stroke.

“This tragic loss of life was 100 percent preventable and could have been stopped with access to water and rest,” said Cristina Tzintzún, Executive Director of Workers Defense Project. “The Dallas City Council should set an example for the entire Dallas-Fort Worth region by guaranteeing construction workers the right to rest.”

According to a 2013 report from the University of Texas at Austin, 66 percent of Dallas construction workers reported that their employers failed to provide them with drinking water. In addition, 33 percent said they did not receive rest breaks and 12 percent said they witnessed a co-worker faint due to heat exhaustion.

Currently, there are no federal or state laws guaranteeing rest breaks for workers who toil in the construction industry.  The only semblance of protection lies within OSHA regulations, which indicate employers should provide plenty of cool water and frequent short breaks in cool shaded areas.

“I have worked in the 100 degree without a rest break and it is really dangerous,” said Mario Ontiveros, a Dallas area construction worker. “We deserve the right to go home safe to our families at the end of each day.”

As the temperatures in north Texas surpass 100 degrees, it is vital that all construction workers have the right to rest. On Wednesday, Workers Defense Project will voice its support of mandatory rest breaks during the city council meeting at 9 a.m. at city hall, 1500 Marilla St., Dallas.

Mark Clayton, Dallas City Council Member, District 9, said, “It shouldn’t take loss of life for the construction community to realize that its employees are valuable, and that common sense rest breaks can coexist with building deadlines.”

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Workers Defense Project (WDP) is a statewide organization winning good jobs for low-wage workers. For more information, go to www.workersdefense.org, or follow us on Twitter, @WorkersDefense.

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