October 06, 2018

Specialized Emergency Response Trainers deploy to North Carolina

USWTMC Specialized Emergency Response Trainers (SERTs) initiated deployment to North Carolina in response to Hurricane Florence. The SERTs are on the ground to provide guidance and training to union members, workers, communities and volunteers, who are recovering from the destruction. Those who are recovering, cleaning up and rebuilding face a myriad of hazards associated with hurricanes and flooding such as mold, infectious disease transmission and more.

Week One: Sept. 23-29, 2018

Week Two: Sept. 30 to Oct. 6, 2018

United Steelworkers (USW) District 9 SERTs Calvin Bozeman of Local Union 675 and Billy Edington of Local 288 continued their deployment this week in North Carolina. Heading into Sunday, they continued to reach out to contacts previously shared with them and discussed possible training opportunities.

The SERTs traveled to Wilmington on Monday, where they drove through communities affected by the hurricane.

“We were able to do one-on-one training with some of the people who were out in their yards working on the consequences of the hurricane,” Edington said.

They handed out 42 National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) booklets with health and safety information on protecting oneself while facing hazards associated with floods, hurricanes and mold exposure, within the communities.

Bozeman and Edington continued on to Riegelwood and met with Alexis Clemmons of USW Local Union 9-738, representing members at International Paper (IP). Clemmons is also a USWTMC worker-trainer. They provided Clemmons with 140 NIEHS booklets to handout at her monthly local union meeting that evening.

Their last stop of the day was at Natmore Baptist Church in Kelly, where they distributed 160 more NIEHS booklets.

The SERTs continued making contacts on Tuesday with nearby USW Local Unions 1025 and 438, Ville910age representatives and United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) Local Union 1208. They delivered 560 NIEHS booklets UFCW Local 1208, representing workers at Smithfield Food Processing in Tar Heel.

At a Lowe’s in Whiteville, they provided one-on-one training sessions for 18 individuals using the NIEHS booklets.

On Wednesday, Bozeman and Edington traveled back to Ville910age, a nonprofit and community organization in Fayetteville, to pick up more NIEHS booklets from their contact, Alexis Andre. There they met with Isaac Gobern of the North Carolina AFL-CIO and Sheet Metal Workers Local Union 24 members from Columbus, Ohio, who brought a truck full of supplies for those affected by the disaster. Together the SERTs and USW Local 9-959 members helped them unload their truck.

The SERTs went on to the American Red Cross shelter in Leland, which was housing 146 displaced residents. They distributed 100 NIEHS booklets.

They later discussed upcoming training scheduled for Friday and Saturday with Gobern, and concluded their day providing one-on-one training to individuals at a nearby Lowe’s.

The SERTs provided a two-hour mold awareness course on Thursday for 22 participants, and another on Friday for seven more participants. Participants included pastors, community leaders, local residents and members of the International Association of Machinists, District 110.

Bozeman and Edington facilitated another two-hour mold awareness training on Saturday for seven more participants which include members of USW Local 959, North Carolina AFL-CIO, Communications Workers of America (CWA) Local Unions 3680 and 32035, and Teamsters Joint Council 13. They were also able to reach displaced residents in the lobby of their hotel that morning, distributing 12 NIEHS booklets. The SERTs deployment ended on Sunday, as they traveled back home.

Posted In: AFLCIO, CWA, Environment, Health and Safety, Labor Institute, Mazzocchi, MRNY, NDLON, USW

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