WATCH: Union workers protest company contracted by Metro Nashville over safety

FOX 17 News

Union workers have gathered in downtown Nashville to protest safety concerns with a company they say is contracted out by Metro.

Members of the Labors Union of North America, which has a local in Nashville, are protesting concerns with Demo Plus Inc.

"There's always an accident with these people,” union member William Cardenas said. “They don't do the job right. If they can't get the job right, they shouldn't do the job at all. If you're an irresponsible contractor, you're not going to do business in Nashville anymore."

Members cited Demo Plus' poor safety record, including a 2015, freak accident along Demonbreun Street that almost paralyzed a woman when a wall crashed on top of her.

Union members say they are meeting with Metro councilmembers to address their concerns and hope their demonstrations will bring some change.

"Hopefully that the Metro will not give any more contracts to this company, and they look into more respectable contractors that actually respect workers' rights, and pay a good living wage as well," protester Alfredo Pena said.

Metro City Council Member Fabian Bedne supported the protester’s cause.

"When we know that comparing to other cities, the number of people that are dying or getting hurt in our construction sites is bigger than in other cities, it tells me that we are building the city, putting our residents at risk of dying or getting hurt, and that is unacceptable,” Bedne said,

He said the city could help workers by implementing higher safety standards and tougher guidelines for contractors.

"We just think it's time for Metro Nashville, for developers, for contractors who sub-contract, to start taking safety more seriously and not having the cheapest contractor be picked, they need to pick the safest contractor,” protester Ethan Link said.

Demo Plus Inc. CFO Jolene Fechter released the following statement to Fox 17 News.

“Demo Plus Inc. is a local owned business in Nashville for over 12 years. We care about our employees and safety is a paramount concern to our company. Today’s events appear to be instigated by two former disgruntled employees and nothing more.”

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