Workers from Brandt Construction Co. in Milan went on strike Thursday demanding safer working conditions as well as better pay and benefits.
Supported by members of the Quad-Cities Coalition for Worker Justice, about 30 people lined up in front of Brandt at 11:30 a.m. Thursday for a rally.
Scott Jones of Moline is a Brandt foreman who has worked for the company for 29 years, while his wife Cathy is a laborer who worked for Brandt for 16 years.
The Joneses stood on the picket line, Cathy Jones said, “to support the striking workers and our fellow workers with the issues that continue to go on.”
“They’re not giving the appropriate number of work staff, so we are working short-staffed and it puts the workers in unsafe situations not having enough people out there to watch traffic and everything when there should be,” Cathy Jones added.
Representatives of Brandt did not comment on the rally.
Cathy Jones said enough workers must be present on each job to ensure the job is done “safely and efficiently so everyone goes home at night.”
She added that workers have questions about their wages but they have not been able to get them answered.
Sheilia Burrage of Davenport, a member of the Communications Workers of America Local 7110, Dubuque, said she supports the workers in their demands.
“I am very concerned,” she said. “Physical labor means you put in all the blood, sweat and tears and you die with your aches and pains from your labor.”
Burrage said the company’s president, Terry Brandt, “has been misled. His father built this company from the ground up and he built it by being fair and safe. I hope someone will sit down and get through to him. His father did not start this company for it to end up like this.”
A similar rally was held at Brandt in September as two dozen people picketed in support of former workers of the company who had been injured on the job and were fired after walking out on strike.