As workers in Houston’s labor force begin rebuilding after Hurricane Harvey, local organizers are concerned with ensuring they will be properly protected and compensated. Even before Harvey, conditions were tough for area construction workers, particularly among Houston’s large undocumented workforce (about 50% of construction workers).
A study with the University of Illinois found that about 40% of Houston construction workers have no benefits. Industry has dismantled worker protections in Texas for decades. No workers’ compensation insurance coverage is required and one construction worker dies on the job every day. Already there are reports of crews spending hours cleaning up only to be denied their promised pay.