Laborer Local 76, Chicago, IL - May 16, 2017
I was a laborer on the Metra site in Uptown Chicago. The days were spent cleaning up garbage and moving around supplies. Walking around the site and fixing up holes or gaps in the privacy fence. Flagging was also the majority of my job duties. Flaggers are needed when work is being done either overhead a sidewalk or pedestrian area or a road that is shut down. Flagger duties are to set up and block off/caution the area the work is to be done in. Stay vigilant and never leave your area unless you have someone to cover your post before leaving. This means being on your feet sometimes for 16 hours without sitting. Also you have to avoid distractions such as a cellular device or pedestrians trying to make conversation. You also have to maintain communication with the other flagger. As a flagger you are often conflicting with local pedestrians normal route which in turn can cause conflict but explained respectfully they often understand. An example is we had a street shut down because rail works was cutting and dropping steel from the track to the street and sidewalk below. This closure made people walk around the block causing an inconvenience. Some people tried ducking under the red caution tape or cutting through the do not enter barriers so my job as a flagger was to immediately intercept them and show them the safe passage before harm could befall them. If my orders were ignored ie, a homeless person or someone with mental health issues I would immediately yell up top to get the workers to stop while the person passed then notify the police as soon as the person was out of the work zone.