City of Houston Partners with Trade Unions and Fair Housing Advocates to Implement Build It Forward Workforce Protection Program

City of Houston Partners With Trade Unions and Fair Housing Advocates to Implement Workforce Protection Program

HOUSTON – On Tuesday, April 23, 2019 the mayor will join the congressional delegation, state and union reps, and community leaders at 11:00 am on the steps of City Hall in observation of Workers Memorial Day. Mayor Turner — in collaboration with AFL-CIO: America’s Unions, Texas Organizing Project, Workers Defense Project and HOME Coalition — has put into place a Workforce Protection Program for workers building affordable multifamily homes under City Housing and Community Development Department programs.
Protection standards include:
* Fair wages, with a $15 per hour minimum
* Safety training for workers
* Mandated health benefits for low- and very-low income contractors and apprentices
* Clearly defined employment classifications based on hours worked and the expected duration of the job

“The City is exercising its right to make sure that workers who build federally funded affordable homes in Houston can work safely and afford homes of their own and work in safe environments,” Mayor Sylvester Turner said.

“In the aftermath of Harvey, there is a tremendous need for the construction and rehabilitation of homes throughout the city. The way we spend money for Harvey recovery should protect workers and families,” said Housing and Community Development Director Tom McCasland.

The Workforce Protection Program is effective immediately.
“We listened to our partners and advocates throughout the collaboration process to set high standards,” said Ray Miller, HCDD’s assistant director for Multifamily and Public Facilities. “We want to have rules in place and take action, from withholding payment to suspension from working on future city projects, if things go wrong.”

The press conference will announce high standards for those looking to partner with the city. Advocacy groups will also memorialize those who have died or suffered from exposures to hazards at their jobs. Subcontractors looking to work on future projects can visit the Housing and Community Development Department webpage to find names and information on partnering developers.
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Contact:
Brittany Hyman
Public Information Officer
Office: 832.394.6178
Mobile: 713.656.1646
Brittany.Hyman@houstontx.gov

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