February 01, 2018

Week nine: Jan. 8-14, 2018 in Puerto Rico

Mary Millspaugh of United Steelworkers (USW) Local Union 7-103-A and William Bonilla of Make the Road New York(MRNY) were the next two SERTs to begin their outreach in Puerto Rico. After settling in and preparing for her stay on Monday, Millspaugh met with local union leaders on Tuesday to gather information on training needs. USW Local Unions 6871, 6135 and 8198 worked with Millspaugh and District 4 staff to schedule health and safety training for the upcoming week(s). They also decided to hand out NIEHS booklets on protecting oneself after natural disasters and while remediating mold.

WEDNESDAY USW Local Union 6871 President Carlos Arocho and Millspaugh started their day at the District 4 office sorting NIEHS booklets. They also connected with more USW-represented workplaces to plan which days they will spend handing out the NIEHS booklets at the entrances/exits of the facilities. Arocho began contacting members to participate in upcoming train-the-trainer courses.

THURSDAY Millspaugh and Bonilla met up with Arocho, and drove through the damaged areas in Bayamón including the towns of Cerro Gordo, Santa Olaya and Sabana. Next, they went back to the USW District 4 office and prepared all of the booklets to hand out at facility gates. They began their outreach at Structural Steel Works, Inc., where members of Local Union 6871 are working, and distributed 30 sets of NIEHS booklets on mold and floods. They traveled to Alonso & Carus Iron Works, Inc., after and connected with members of the same local. The SERTs provided 20 more sets of NIEHS booklets on mold and floods. At each facility they spoke with the workers face-to-face, sharing information on how to protect themselves in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria.

FRIDAY Millspaugh, Bonilla and Arocho again traveled to the District 4 office to meet with Anardy Martinez, president of Local 6135, about distributing more NIEHS information. They all discussed an upcoming train-the-trainer course and found 10 members willing to participate in the Bayamón area. The SERTs and local presidents concluded their meetings with more conversation on how to reach even more members.

Millspaugh and Bonilla finished their day of outreach after visiting Colegio de Ingenieros y Agrimensores (Professional College of Engineers and Land Surveyors) and Colegio de Farmacéuticos de Puerto Rico (Pharmaceutical College of Puerto Rico), reaching 16 more members.

SATURDAY The SERTs spent the day reviewing and preparing train-the-trainer course materials for upcoming classes to be held in Puerto Rico.

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