Unions Want More Convention Center Work, Nashville Lawmakers Listen

Rep. Mike Turner (D-Old Hickory) showed his support by attending the rally at the Metro Courthouse.

Rep. Mike Turner (D-Old Hickory) showed his support by attending the rally at the Metro Courthouse.

Hundreds of construction workers rallied in front of the Metro Courthouse Thursday, saying they’ve been shut out of the city-funded convention center.

“We’re here today for one reason. Contractors have not hired enough local workers.”

That’s Mike Boner of the Mid-State Carpenters Regional Council. Construction of the $600 million Music City Center is well underway, and this group is upset with how many jobs are going to out-of-state crews.

At least three Metro Council members, as well as several state lawmakers, attended the rally to show their support. But Councilman Sam Coleman merely pledged to look into the claims.

“Right now I don’t want to jump to conclusions because I don’t know everything there is to know.”

A spokesperson for the Music City Center says the project needs the best workers, and at least 60 percent in any given month are from Davidson County. Project managers also report nearly half of the workers are union members.

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