Brothers and Sisters,
Gov. Jay Inslee issued a “Stay at Home, Stay Healthy” order in Washington State that is effective March 23rd for a minimum of two weeks. Wednesday, March 25th the Governor issued a narrower interpretation of his order in regards to Construction Guidance – Stay Home, Stay Healthy Proclamation (20-25). Not all commercial and residential construction is authorized under the proclamation because not all construction is considered to be an essential activity. However, there are exceptions to the order that allow for many construction sites and construction work to continue as an essential activity or in support of essential activities. All construction activity must meet social distancing and appropriate health and worker protection measures before proceeding. Also, if you are working, a special reminder that some companies are trying to get you to sign a declaration that you are not sick nor have been around anyone that shows certain symptoms to be able to go to work. In my estimation, this is a change in working conditions and therefore up for negotiation. If enforced, it is an unfair labor practice. I urge the members not to sign such a declaration.
If you find yourself laid off due to “lack of work” or on standby status make sure to check in with dispatch to be placed on the out of work (OOW) list and sign up for unemployment benefits. Depending on individual situations you may be eligible for other benefits like Paid Time Off (PTO), Sick Leave or the new Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA). Remain in contact with your Supervisor, Foreman, Contractor and Field Reps for updates to job site status and/or return to work status.
Here at Local 612 Member and Employee safety continues to be of paramount importance. Based on the seriousness of the COVID-19 virus and the Governors order, Local 612 will continue day to day operations with the exception of walk in business.
Please practice social distancing and preventative behaviors:
Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth, avoid close contact with people who are sick, clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces, and stay home when you are sick.
I hope everyone is doing the best they can in the circumstances that are before us and that this order to “Stay Home, Stay Safe” is done sooner than later so we can get back to what we do best, Build America!
Todd J. Mickelson
IUOE Local 612