Candlelight vigils to be held for victims of Hard Rock construction collapse

Candlelight vigils to be held for victims of Hard Rock construction collapse
The Hard Rock Hotel , which is still under construction on Canal Street, partially collapsed Saturday (Oct. 12) killing one person and injuring dozens. (Source: Andres Braud)

NEW ORLEANS, La. (WVUE) - Candlelight vigils will be held on Thursday to honor those workers who were injured or killed in Saturday’s building collapse at the Hard Rock Hotel site.

The Southeast Louisiana Building and Construction Trades Council will be hosting the vigil.

People are being asked to gather on the South Side of Canal Street between South Liberty Street and South Saratoga Street at 6 p.m.

Saturday’s collapse has left at least two people dead, one unaccounted for and dozens injured.

Southeast Louisiana Building and Construction Trades Council Executive Secretary Andy O’Brien released a statement saying, “Our collective hearts go out to the workers and their families impacted by this horrible tragedy. While our organization represents 16 unionized construction locals, we have always felt it is our higher responsibility to look out for, protect and represent in any way possible all workers involved in construction in Southeast Louisiana.”

Organizing Committee Chairman Chip Fleetwood added, “We don’t know what happened exactly, and won’t know until the investigations are complete. We do know that something like this should never occur on a construction site. For more than a year now our organization has been talking to workers on the job site and trying to educate officials and the concerned public that the Hard Rock project epitomizes what is wrong with the construction landscape in Southeast Louisiana: Construction projects and sites rife with bottom-line developers with questionable track records, job health and safety concerns, workers being misclassified, construction workers without worker’s compensation, rampant tax fraud, profit-first labor brokers, workers without proper training, certifications or licensing, and most importantly, ongoing and pervasive worker exploitation. While we planned this vigil to honor those adversely effected by the building’s collapse, we also feel is our duty to bring attention to the bad, illegal, and unsafe practices that have become the norm in New Orleans construction.”

There will also be a vigil held on the steps at City Hall at 6 p.m. Thursday.

Faith and community leaders as well as the New Orleans Building Trades, Step Up Louisiana, Congreso de Jomaleros, Workplacce Project will be in attendance at the vigil.

Search crews continue to search for missing workers as engineers work to figure out how to stabilize the building and two cranes.

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