Talking-SMART Ep. 4: COVID-19, Stimulus, Canadian Response, Shipyards and Procuring PPEs

Published: April 23, 2020

In the fourth episode of Talking SMART, we continue our focus on the COVID-19 pandemic, its impact on our members and their communities, and how SMART is mobilizing across North America to help members stay informed and be safe at home and on the job during this crisis.

Our first guest is Steve Dodd, SMART’s director of government and legislative affairs.  Steve addresses emergency stimulus legislation that passed in the United States, as well as its impact on SMART members and their families.

We also talk with Chris Paswisty, an International Representative for SMART sheet metal workers and former business manager of Local 30 in Toronto, Ontario. He discusses the Canadian response to the pandemic and steps members and locals north of the border are taking to protect themselves.

Our third guest is Tommy Fisher, a 39-year SMART member, and longtime International Representative from Mobile, Alabama. He services SMART sheet metal members employed at locations affiliated with the Metal Trades Department of the AFL-CIO. He discusses the work SMART members do in the shipyard industry, how these worksites and employers are responding to the pandemic, and the current situation in the state of Alabama.

Our last guest is Tom Wiant, a 33-year sheet metal worker and financial secretary-treasurer at Local 33, which covers northern Ohio and West Virginia. Tom talks with us about how his local has been able to procure thousands of KN95 masks to protect members in his region, as well as how Local 33 has contributed to SMART’s national initiative to produce and donate metal nose piece strips to volunteers making face masks for health care workers and first responders.

In addition, listen for the open mic segment at the end of this episode, where General President Joseph Sellers answers questions from members about important topics facing them and their families.