Workers voice fears as 19 construction Covid clusters emerge in Austin, Texas

Nineteen construction Covid-19 clusters in and around Austin, Texas have been identified by the city’s public health department.

Are we expendable?– Electrician in Williamson County

Nine are among general contractors, three involve electrical, heating and air-conditioning work, two affect concrete work, two plumbing, two special trades and one has hit excavation, reports radio station KVUE.

A spike in cases was flagged up earlier this month by health officials.

KVUE has reported concerns among workers in the state capital and surrounding counties. It quoted an electrician in Williamson County, to the north of the city, who said: "Those are my worries – coming home and bringing it to someone else and them getting sick."

The electrician said: "Are we expendable? Do they not care about construction at all? Do they not care about construction workers’ families?"

He added that hand-washing stations don’t work, social distancing is almost non-existent and it was rare to find someone wearing a mask.

Emily Timm, co-executive director of advocacy group the Workers Defence Project, said: "We are extra concerned and expected that there would be challenges across the board with enforcing Covid-19 standards."

Image: Downtown Austin, Texas (Sk5893/CC BY-SA 4.0)

Further reading:

Story for GCR? Get in touch via email: [email protected]

Latest articles in News