A Laborer’s Perspective

Edwina Patterson is a nearly 4 year Laborer from Moundsview, Minnesota. She decided to come to India when she saw our first outreach flyer at the Women Build Nations Conference last April. She was moved by the picture of the woman working with a baby in a sling on her back. Here is Edwina with workers at a naka. Below are some of her thoughts early in our trip.


So, as I walk down the street while in India I see a ton of construction but I don’t see much for PPE. All I can think about is every time an inspector says where’s your hard hat, or where are your safety glasses, or my Foreman looks and notices I don’t have ear plugs in, and I get attitude and I roll my eyes but I still go get whatever PPE I need. I see these people working in sandals, some with no shoes on at all, no hard hat, no safety glasses, no work boots. Then I all I can think about is having an attitude because I have to put in earplugs. Wow…it is so intense when we are hit with a reality check and have to grow up…..we need OSHA, we need regulation, we need employers that care…..guess my world’s not so bad after all.

–Edwina Patterson, Laborers Local 563, Minnesota


About susanmoir2015

Researcher, feminist, labor activist.
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to A Laborer’s Perspective

  1. Karen says:

    These “Tradeswomen Testimonies” are amazing & informative. Thank you Edwina.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Sara P Driscoll says:

    Edwina….from a fellow Minnesotan, long-time friend of Susan’s and a retired electrician….this is a terrific testimony on the difference between our first world construction life and the realities of the majority of the rest of world when it comes to health and safety…..your words are inspiring and humble…..Thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s