January 17, 2018

Week eight: Dec. 11-17, 2017 in Puerto Rico

Frank Condell was the first Specialized Emergency Response Trainer (SERT) to arrive in Puerto Rico and begin assessing the disaster-stricken communities and USW-represented workplaces. On Monday, Condell spent time in San Juan taking note of the homes devastated by Hurricane Maria. Roofs are topped with blue, plastic tarps to prevent further water damage to homes and power remains down. The SERT managed to make contact with about 40 people in regards to how they are dealing with the cleanup process. He also visited V’Soske Inc., located in Vega Baja, which is a USW-represented custom carpet production facility, where he met with Yaphett Torres, USW District 4 staff representative.

TUESDAY Condell traveled to Peerless Oil and Chemical Inc., in Peñuelas, and spoke with members of USW Local Union 6135-02 about cleanup in their workplace, homes and communities. The members shared that the company, who supplies gasoline to the entire island, extended aid to each of them in the aftermath of the disaster. Condell also spoke with a human resources manager who is interested in mold remediation training at the facility. Thirty-five contacts were made here.

WEDNESDAY Condell, Torres and other USW staff attended a meeting with multiple unions to discuss post-hurricane response. Representatives from the AFL-CIO, IAM, LIUNA and UAW shared how the disaster continues to impact union members. Each representative showed interest in mold awareness and remediation training from the USW Tony Mazzocchi Center. In result of the meeting, Condell made 26 contacts with local labor leaders.

THURSDAY Condell conducted a site assessment at GFR Media today, another USW-represented workplace located in San Juan.

FRIDAY On his final day in Puerto Rico, Condell finalized outreach reports, workplace assessments and participant lists for upcoming train-the-trainer courses.

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