The MTA’s first-ever woman elevator and escalator mechanic died last week while giving birth to twins, her grieving family and co-workers said Monday.
Julia Roman, 43, had 15 years on the job, had worked through most of her pregnancy.
Roman came to the US from the Dominican Republic at age 16 and went through a program with the group Nontraditional Employment for Women, an organization that helps woman find jobs in men-dominated industries. She joined the ranks of elevator and escalator mechanics back when there were no other women in the position, said her sister-in-law, Lucelenia Pimentel.
“That was a huge accomplishment for her, especially being from an immigrant family,” Pimentel said.
Even in 2017, Roman was still one of only two or three woman among the 225 elevator and escalator mechanics, transit officials said.
She was just one of a few women among the 225 mechanics who repaired the lifts and automatic stairs, said Transit Workers Union Local 100 officials.
“This is a terrible tragedy,” said John Chiarello, TWU Vice President of Maintenance of Way. “Julia was a pioneer in her field. She was one of just a handful of women in her job title. She was a good co-worker, a good union person and a former shop steward. She will be sorely missed.”
Roman died of an amniotic-fluid embolism, and doctors couldn’t save her life despite performing an emergency C-section, Pimentel said.