This letter to the editor originally appeared in the Voices of the People section of the New York Daily News on April 14, 2020.
White Plains, N.Y.: I’m honored to be on the frontlines bringing power and lights to the makeshift tent hospitals. We in the building trades are always at the front. During 9/11, I worked the first five days on The Pile doing everything to save one life. Unfortunately, I wasn’t so lucky. I hope that my work this time may save someone.
We know the nurses and doctors are doing an unbelievable job. But what about the people keeping the hospital sanitized, or the engineers, electricians, carpenters and laborers making sure the hospital runs when it’s probably overworked on every front? The truck drivers delivering all the masks and essential hospital supplies to make sure they can save a life? The parking attendant probably not making a fair living but who is still showing up every day?
You may be able to get away during good times with cutting corners and putting unqualified workers into these jobs, but when the going gets tough, the skilled tradesmen and women of our nation are the ones we all must count on. We don’t back down! We don’t fail at our jobs!
I’m very proud to serve our city, our citizens and our state. We work for others not just for ourselves! So next time you see that dirty electrician, plumber, carpenter, laborer, tin knocker, fitter, police officer, firefighter, EMS, give them a wave, no words are necessary!
Sincerely, a proud Local Union 3 electrician from New York City. Alex “Archie” Alcantara.