Activists with RI Jobs With Justice and the Childhood Lead Action Project held an informational picket outside US Rubber Mills to call attention to the serious health effects of lead exposure. Work on the mill complex is being performed by non-union labor. Mike Araujo, executive director of RI Jobs With Justice, said, “We demand an end to the fear of not knowing if our children are being exposed to lead. We demand that the contractors and the sub-contractors they employ be held to the highest standard of safety and the highest regard for our shared environment. Contractors with a track record of abuse and a disregard for the environment must be held to the closest scrutiny of both the community and the state regulatory agencies.”
Video taken at the site and given to RI Future by RI Jobs With Justice shows windows at the site emitting clouds of unknown composition into the air. The clouds and dust released in the air from the four story tall complex have the potential to drift throughout the Eagle Square section of Olneyville.
“A company that will poison us will also exploit and steal from workers,” said Raul Figureroa of Fuerza Laboral on the use of non-union labor at the site. Fuerza Laboral is an immigrant rights labor organization.
“The construction worker who works every day to build our Olneyville deserves the best training, wages, and conditions,” said Araujo, “Being exposed to potentially toxic particulates without proper training in the use of containment and personal protection is a recipe for disaster.”
Activists dressed in Tyvek paper suits, held banners and passed out flyers to passing motorists.
For more information on lead dangers, call 401-785-1310
To let the city and state know that you want them to protect the Eagle Square section of Olneyville from unsafe renovation, call 401-222-5960 and 401-421-2489.