Anthony Simon

General Chairman

 

Vincent Tessitore

Vice General Chairman

 

Michael Denn

Secretary

 

Local Chairman

Dominick Amendolare

Joseph Castaldo

Michael Denn

Jeff Finn

Jay Langlan

Anthony Lavoratore

Paul Santoro

Chris Smith

Vincent Tessitore

Senator Gaughran Introduces Legislation to Protect Essential Workers Amid COVID-19 Pandemic

(Huntington, NY) Today, Senator Jim Gaughran announced legislation, S.8286, that will protect essential workers from threats, harassment, and assault amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Recent news reports have highlighted the dangers essential workers — from nurses and doctors to first responders to grocery store workers — face in the course of their day-to-day jobs. Essential workers are being targeted for their profession and prevented from completing their jobs. This bill will increase penalties for such crimes committed against essential workers.

Senator Jim Gaughran said “Essential workers are on the frontlines of combatting this unprecedented global health crisis. Rogue criminals who threaten, harass, or attack these brave heroes must be held accountable for interfering with essential workers abilities to do their jobs. My legislation will protect our frontline heroes and deter senseless criminal activity.”

This bill will increase penalties for crimes committed against an essential worker during a declared disaster emergency. The legislation will protect any worker deemed essential during a declared state disaster emergency, such as the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

 

Richard Schementi, LIRR Conductor who has faced verbal harassment and intimidation as an essential worker, said “As a frontline Conductor of the LIRR we want to thank Senator Gaughran for this bill. As a conductor we want to just come in and do our job protecting our riders as well as going home safe to our families.”

Noel Di Gerolamo, Suffolk PBA President, said “During this global pandemic, it is unconscionable to think anyone would commit a crime against an essential worker doing their job. Unfortunately, it has occurred. Senator Gaughran’s bill looks to help address these situations.”

Anthony Simon, General Chairman/Alt International VP SMART-Sheet Metal Air Rail Transportation Transportation Division, said “On behalf of our LIRR essential workers who are delivering on service and walking into harm’s way everyday we thank the Senator for recognizing the need for this legislation. LIRR employees and all MTA workers are heroes moving heroes All first responders and essential workers deserve to be treated with respect. We can not tolerate them being harassed or assaulted. The Senator has stepped up to put action in front of words and we thank him for his leadership. We stand in support of this bill and in support of Senator Gaughran.”

Phil Eng, LIRR President, said “Transportation employees have been on the front lines of this pandemic day in and day out and they deserve all the protections we can afford them,” LIRR President Phillip Eng said. “We need to continue to send the message that we have zero tolerance for anyone who wishes to harm one of our heroes, and that there will be stiff consequences for anyone who commits these heinous acts.”

John R. Durso, President of the Long Island Federation of Labor, AFL-CIO and Local 338 RWDSU/UFCW, said “Our State’s essential workers, healthcare professionals, and first responders have all been critical to our families and communities as we navigate the continued crisis. These selfless frontline heroes have put their own health on the line and the last thing they should ever have to worry about is physical or verbal assault and harassment. We should be sharing our gratitude at this time and anything other than that is both reprehensible and inexcusable. We appreciate Senator Gaughran’s leadership in introducing legislation that would hold those who intentionally harm essential and frontline workers fully accountable for their actions.”

Thomas Mungeer, NYS Troopers Pba President, said “This legislation provides another layer of personal protection, that Senator Gaughran wants to provide to NYS Troopers and all of our essential workers.”

Michael O’Meara, president of the New York State Association of PBAs, said, “The people of the great State of New York are all living in these extraordinarily difficult times.  Senator Gaughran has recognized the need for legislation that would help protect our police officers, and all those essential workers who are on the front lines in the war against an insidious disease.  The current state of emergency, and the likelihood of similar situations occurring in the future, has unfortunately demonstrated the necessity for this legislation.  I commend Senator Gaughran for sponsoring this well-reasoned and much-needed measure.”

 

UPDATE!!! FROM GENERAL CHAIRPERSON

ANTHONY SIMON

 

March 17, 2020 7:30pm

 

Brothers and Sisters in Transportation:

 

The MTA will be implementing a fare collection

modification to improve upon the safety of our

front line workers and customers in an effort

to reduce the spread of COVID-19.  in order to

limit the hand to hand contact with

customers, effective Thursday March 19,

2020, the LIRR will not be accepting cash fare

payments at ticket counters or onboard trains.

Cash will be accepted at TVM locations only.

We will continue to accept Credit Card

payments for transactions and all other fare

collection policies will remain in effect.  While

we will continue to interact with customers

and collect transportation, this provision will

hopefully reduce hand to hand contact.

Understand during these trying times, revenue

is still necessary to keep us running. Please

continue to take precautions.

Gloves will be made available in the coming

days for those who feel more comfortable

using them. Hand sanitizer orders are coming

in daily and we need to share those resources

for our daily duties with one another. 

Please understand these things are changing

hour by hour, and keeping up with these

changes and making recommendations has

been a constant process.  We are engaged

and working through all of the challenges.

Stay the course, be safe and thank you

for understanding your role as an essential

employee.

 

UPDATE!! FROM GENERAL CHAIRPERSON

ANTHONY SIMON

 

March 14, 2020 5:00pm

 

To all SMART Members:

 

We just confirmed that a LIRR employee has

tested positive for COVID-19.  The employee

was in the Sheridan Shops in Richmond Hill.

Suffolk County CDC is handling their investigation.

LIRR will assist and make sure anyone who came

in contact or may think they have, will be contacted

by the CDC for any needed follow up.

If anyone feels they may have made contact in the

area or with the employee they can contact LIRR

Medical for guidance.  The shop will be cleaned

and disinfected, we will keep you posted.

As always any concerns or questions please

reach out to one of your union reps.

Thank you, continue to take precaustions  and

stay safe.

UPDATE FROM GENERAL CHAIRPERSON

ANTHONY SIMON

March 14, 2020

To all SMART Members:

Out of an abundance of caution employees will be

seeing varying work locations shutting down

or occupied by heavy duty cleaning

teams to continue to fight the spread

of the Corona virus. PLEASE UNDERTAND THAT

THIS DOES NOT MEAN THESE LOCATIONS

HAVE BEEN AFFECTED BY THE VIRUS.

We are working with the carrier and

are in support of any actions that will

limit risk based on inquiries and information coming

in hour by hour.  TO DATE STILL NO POSITIVE

CASES HAVE BEEN CONFIRMED ON

THE PROPERTY.  Members should still be

taking precautions as advertised in prior

notifications, including washing their hands

as frequently as possible with soap and water.

Our Committee has beeen in close contact

with leadership and will continue to

ensure the safest work environment

possible.  Members should contact medical with

any concerns or questions pertaining to the virus.

The confidential Close Call

Reporting System (C3RS) 

is a partnership between

NASA , the FRA, Participating railroads

and labor organizations.  It is designed to

improve railroad safety by collecting and

studying reports detailing unsafe

conditions and events in the railroad industry.

Employees will be able to report

safety issues or “close calls” voluntarily

and confidentially.

 

 

“What makes a union

strong is the resolve

of it’s membership”-

Anthony Simon