Union leader says crews living on “unhealthy” job site

Right across the field in front of a Walmart off Elmore Avenue in Davenport, a construction crew is living on a job site in a small work trailer without plumbing.

“There’s not a drain out there, when they go to the bathroom. Where’s it going? There’s got to be some health issues here,” said Rory Washburn, President of the Tri Cities Building Trades.

“Primitive living conditions on the site. This is Elmore Avenue. It smells like feces and urine here,” he said after a quick tour of the site.

The men are from Texas and are working for a company called Embree, which is building two Discount Tires in Davenport. A supervisor on one of the sites confirmed some of the men are living in the steel container off Elmore, but says it’s not his decision.

Washburn went by Monday night and took pictures of the men and the conditions. He’s angry cheap labor is replacing his union members, and called the accommodations for the crew, a new low for labor.

“If they think they’re saving a couple dollars by importing workers and having them living in conditions like this, shame on them,” Washburn said.

“This should not be allowed on a construction site. This should be allowed on a camp site. I’m damn certain there’s not an elected official in the county or city that would condone what we’re looking at right here,” he said. “This is wrong.”

The Scott County Health Department says it received a call about  the site but didn’t issue any citations.

Washburn says he plans on addressing the Davenport City Council about the issue.

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