COVID-19: Global pandemic
Brothers and Sisters, in a matter of weeks, the coronavirus (COVID-19) became a worldwide pandemic that has impacted the lives of nearly everyone, including our members and their families.
The General Executive Board has approved and will work with all of the Local Unions to ensure that our members health and safety is of the utmost concern. As a result, we are placing a suspension on all Local Union Meetings and Local Union Elections shall be postponed until such time as the COVID-19 virus national emergency quarantine and isolation recommendations are lifted.
I am also aware of steps some individual Local Unions and JATCs are taking to put the health of our members at the forefront and I applaud each of you for your trailblazing efforts to limit contact and follow recommended “social distance.”
In some areas of the country, restrictions have included halting construction projects, but this is not widespread at this point. However, these decisions change often and quickly. At this point, it is too early to determine the impact on the construction industry and the employment of our members. But I assure you we are doing our best to monitor developments.
Please take the time to familiarize yourself with the recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Center for Construction Research and Training (commonly known as CPWR) on how to best prevent the spread of this virus:
- Do not shake hands
- Stay three to six feet away from other people
- Avoid contact with sick people
- Do not touch your face, especially your eyes, nose or mouth, with unwashed hands
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds
- If soap and water is not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
Essentially, you should practice good hygiene and wash your hands after using the bathroom, before eating and after coughing, sneezing or blowing your nose.
The precautions we take can help limit the spread and exposure of this virus to others. We are a union and need to act in the best conscience for all. We have also shared suggestions provided by CPWR, click here to see their expanded precautions.
Congress has approved legislation to help with the cost of testing and to aid in supporting emergency leave. There appears to be support for various economic stimulus efforts, possibly including direct financial assistance to all Americans. More information can be found here.
The Government of Canada is taking immediate, significant and decisive action to help Canadians facing hardship as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak. They have outlined assistance for those who have lost their jobs or have been significantly reduced in hours worked due to the pandemic. More information can be found here.
Stay healthy, Brothers and Sisters.
General President McCourt
General Secretary-Treasurer Greg Revard
Insulators Union General Executive Board