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Social Unionism in Action

Mobile health unit sent to Puerto Rico after a hurricane, circa 1944.

ILGWU Archives (5780pb40b17ap300g), Kheel Center, CornellUniversity.

Only one of the tasks of the mobile health units was responding to members’ basic health needs after an emergency, such as a hurricane. Their primary function was to serve workers who were dispersed and not readily reachable by other means. An evaluation by the U. S. Surgeon General in the 1940s rated these units as 80% effective, noting that they often served more workers than their urban counterparts.