Judaline Cassidy has been a plumber in NYC for more than two decades. She is a master of her craft, and a champion of equality in the still male-dominated construction industry. Judaline is currently employed by the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA), which provides “safe, affordable housing” to “more than 400,000 New Yorkers” in NYCHA’s “326 public housing developments across the City’s five boroughs”. Her job is critical. Her work is essential. And she wants people to know that the risks she and her sisters and brothers in the building trades are taking to help others during the COVID-19 crisis are great.
On a rare day off, Judaline spoke with our co-founder, Jen Jones, about the fear she feels headed in to work every day, and what helps her push through it. She talks about the vital roles NYC tradespeople have always played in times of crisis, and the importance of recognizing them for the critical services they are providing now. (click image above to play video).
During their conversation, Jen referenced a piece Judaline recently wrote. You can read it in its entirety here:
My attire Monday-Friday (sometimes Saturdays and Sundays) is that of a blue collar construction worker. Usually I don’t give a crap how people look at me in my dirty construction clothes.
But, yesterday I must confess it did.
I was walking home keeping my social distancing recommendation of 6ft.
A man walking towards me noticed me and was filled with panic and covered his nose and mouth with his shirt. Even though he was just minutes early walking next to others without covering his face.
I shared this because people are totally unaware of the risk that my sisters and brothers of the building trades are taking to keep us safe.
NYC Black out we were there!
9/11 we were there!
Sandy we were there!
COVID- 19 We Are Here!
When you sit at home watching Netflix, flushing toilets, enjoy heat, AC and working from home, my people are on the frontlines giving you that privilege so you and your family can be safe.
Be grateful for all the essential personnel that’s protecting the health of the nation.
Water is life!
Plumbers bring it to your homes so don’t have to walk miles to gather it.
You’re Welcome! – Judaline Cassidy, Feminist Plumber, Founder
What Else You Should Know About Judaline Cassidy
A native of the twin islands of Trinidad and Tobago, Judaline has been a proud plumber for over two decades. A member of Plumbers Local Union No. 1 NYC, Judaline has made history while mastering her craft. In addition to being one of the first women accepted into Plumbers Local 371 Staten Island, NY, she was the first woman elected to the Examining Board of Plumbers Local No. 1. Judaline also helped usher in the first Women’s Committee within her Union and became the Committee’s first President.
Driven by her personal mission to inspire more women and girls to become skilled professionals, Judaline founded Tools & Tiaras, a pioneering nonprofit in 2017. Through hands-on, mentoring workshops and summer camps led by tradeswomen leaders, her organization introduces girls and young women to skilled trades jobs like electrician, carpenter, plumber, and auto mechanic. Girls gain awareness of these rewarding and lucrative career options, along with invaluable life-skills.
Through her tireless activism, Judaline has inspired several platforms to develop programs for women in the trades. Most notably, she is the Founder of Lean In: Women In Trades, a group she fought to make reality so tradeswomen can share information and learn from one another.
We thank Judaline and all essential workers for their service during this national and global crisis.