Monday, November 5, 2012

Sandy aftermath an extreme challenge for these Teamsters

Teamster SanMan operating forklift at Floyd Bennett Field in Brooklyn. Moving food bound for hard-hit Coney Island.
Teamsters sanitation and DPW members are working long, exhausting hours to get the New York region back on its feet. Many lost their homes, some lost children and a few are in the hospital with injuries. And yet they're clearing away debris, handing out food and removing downed trees.

Teamster railroad workers have lost their jobs because of Sandy. (Click here to find out how they can apply for unemployment benefits.) Casino dealers and hospitality workers in Atlantic City aren't sure when they'll work again, though the storm caused severe damages to their property.

Please consider making a donation to the Teamsters Disaster Relief Fund to help victims of the superstorm.

Those victims include Teamster sanitation workers who live in devastated parts of New York City. Today we learned much more about Sandy recovery efforts through the Chasing Sanitation Facebook page.

From the page, we found a  NY1 report on the destruction, devastation and debris that make clean up an extreme challenge. The SanMen are working round the clock in 12-hour shifts -- though their own homes have been destroyed.
The city's Department of Sanitation is on the front lines of the cleanup in the Rockaways and many of the workers actually call the peninsula home...
Department of Sanitation New York supervisor texted that sanitation workers are sleeping in the garages.
Everyone seems better than one would expect. Some have lost everything. The job has been generous, knowing that some are sleeping here. We have received disaster type of supplies and rations. Jo Paul Uniforms of Jamaica Ave has generously donated Sanitation Worker uniforms 
Hot food has been scarce, and the workers are being fed military MREs. One sanitation worker was given oxygen after smelling bad toxic gas on his truck.

Brother Michael Lewery's home on Staten Island was damaged, but he went to work anyway. He ended up in the hospital after he was electrocuted. The New York Post reports,
A city sanitation worker was zapped by electricity this morning while removing debris in Staten Island, authorities said. 
Michael Lewery, 46, was clearing an area in New Dorp Beach along Milton Avenue at 10:25 a.m. when he felt a jolt, officials said. 
“He was working on debris removal and was loading a ruined refrigerator into a truck when he apparently felt an electrical shock and screamed,” said Sanit Department spokesman Vito Turso. 
Lewery, a 13-year sanitation veteran, was rushed to Staten Island University North Hospital where he is in stable condition.
A fuel shortage is creating long lines at gas stations, and some first responders are allowed to go to front of the line. Not sanitation workers. Click here to support this cause, "Let Sanitation workers get gas like other emergency responders for hurricane Sandy clean up."

One supporter, Kelly McNeill Snyder, posted this on the cause's Facebook page:
My husband is a DSNY employee and he has been working 13hour shifts with no day off in sight. He and others that work with him have been carpooling in order to be able to get to work. They deserve a break. This time around they are the heroes.
And a heartfelt thank you from sanitation worker Ronnie V. Crawford:
Thank you all for your kind words. I do my job with pride and I've never felt more important than in the last week! I wasn't on the job for 911 but I have co-workers that were and here all the stories of togetherness and healing. Now I can be a part of something well worth being a part of!! Thanx again and I hope we make things better for all who have been affected.
Stay strong, brothers and sisters!