Boston Local 103 donated 20,000 face masks to help nurses and other first responders stay safe during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Boston Local 103 has stepped up to help address the shortage of face masks needed to combat COVID-19.

“Nurses are desperate for these masks,” said Business Manager Lou Antonellis. “Local 103 is happy to take up the task of providing these much-needed items.”

Members of Boston Local 103 spent all day Saturday, April 4 delivering packages full of KN-95 Masks to front line first responders and local fire departments, as well as other medical and urgent care facilities.
Local 103 members drop off a bag with about 250 face masks to the Milton, Mass. Fire Department.

Among the dire headlines regarding the COVID-19 outbreak is the shortage of personal protective equipment in hospitals, including face masks. It’s been especially disastrous for nurses and doctors who must necessarily come into close contact with patients who may or may or not have the virus. So, when a retiree mentioned that his daughter worked at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston and that they needed masks, Local 103 stepped up to the plate.

“You better believe we’ll help nurses,” said Local 103 President Bob Sheehan. “The support from our membership was absolutely overwhelming.”

Working with the Massachusetts Nurses Association and Boston Mayor Marty Walsh, Local 103 utilized a contact they have for PPE to fast-track an order of 20,000 N-95 face masks at a cost of about $30,000. Walsh is a member of Laborers’ Local 223 and former head of the Boston Building and Construction Trades Council.

“Because of our contact, and because we bought in bulk, we were able to get them at rock bottom prices,” Sheehan said.

The majority of the masks were delivered on April 3 to Brigham and Women’s Hospital with others going to Mayor Walsh for distribution among other first responders.

“The nurses were beyond grateful,” Sheehan said.

Local 103 represents about 35 electricians and technicians at Brigham and Women’s.

Antonellis says members from Local 103 spent the weekend giving out bags filled with about 250 masks each to fire departments in the Boston area as well as other organizations in need. 

“We care about the community we live in,” Antonellis said. “Whether it’s lighting a ballfield or donating masks, we want to give back. Our members want to give back. It’s family to us.”

Local 103 members will soon begin work on construction of 1,000 intensive care units and overflow hospital beds at the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center to help with the mounting number of people contracting COVID-19. 

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