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Laborers Lead Charge for Better Wages in Austin

Austin, TX - Recognizing the decline in wages and skyrocketing housing costs were leading to more and more Austin families being forced into poverty, LIUNA joined Austin community groups nearly two years ago in the fight for better pay and safer working conditions in Austin.

On Thursday, October 24, 2013 the Laborers showed up in force with nearly one hundred workers proudly wearing their LIUNA orange and joined other activists from labor unions, faith groups and social justice organizations to rally outside the Austin City Council meeting where Councilmembers would be voting on a historic resolution that would require living wages, prevailing wages, safety requirements, certified training and workers' compensation coverage for construction workers on projects receiving tax breaks. At the rally, the Laborers were able to celebrate the passage of this historic resolution when the Austin City Council voted 6-1 to require construction workers to be paid either prevailing wages or a living wage of $11 per hour, whichever is higher, by companies who seek economic development incentives from the city.

“I want to thank the hundreds of Laborers that rallied and spoke in favor of living wages over the last year, but our work is not done. Although the Laborers are proud of this historic win for workers, it is only the foundation for the work that must still be done to build a better Austin where all workers can lift themselves out of poverty and truly live the American dream.”—Reno Hammond, SWLDC Business Manager.

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