Road construction crews fed up, protest unsafe work conditions

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Road construction workers in Charlotte are fed up and rallying together, claiming the conditions they work in are dangerous -- and they want the North Carolina Department of Transportation to make changes.

Protesters who work for Border Rebar said the company is mistreating workers and they are asking NCDOT and other government agencies to stop working with the company.

Several workers who are on strike held signs Thursday morning near construction zones on Interstate 77. They told Channel 9 that Border Rebar has contracted with NCDOT to do much of the rebar work on the interstate.

Caleb Sanderlin told Eyewitness News reporter Tina Terry that the company mistreats workers by not providing proper training and safety equipment.

He said he was injured on the job and wasn't given workers' compensation.

"Don't give them these contracts until they sit down with their workers and they do what's right," said Sanderlin.

The U.S. Department of Labor said the company has had three serious OSHA violations last year.

One was that the company failed to provide "personal protective equipment at no cost to employees."

Another violation was that the "forklift truck operators were not trained and evaluated to determine their ability to perform truck operations safely in the workplace."

The company was fined nearly $4,000 for those violations.

At a recent city council meeting, LaWana Mayfield asked the city to look into whether it should allow the company to make bids on projects, and the city manager said he's investigating the complaints.

The city of Charlotte said it doesn't have any contracts with the company.

City officials said Border Rebar is a subcontractor and the city has limited authority to deal with non-contract performance issues.

The city council has asked the city attorney to compile a history of the city's experience with Border Rebar.

The company did not have a comment for Channel 9.

Read more top trending stories on wsoctv.com: