Important Message from Business Manager Jason George on Local 49 Response to Coronavirus Situation

Important Message from Business Manager Jason George on Local 49 Response to Coronavirus Situation

All of us are dealing with the situation related to the Corona Virus. Last week we put plans in place for a phased response as conditions and guidance from the health department changed. We sent a note last week implementing phase 1 of our plan. This weekend things have changed, and new recommendations were released from the Centers for Disease Control and the MN Department of Health calling for increased restrictions of group meetings.

In keeping with our plans to do all that we can to help slow the spread of the virus and keep you and our staff safe, we are moving ahead with phase 2 of our plan. We are going to take action to limit meetings, gatherings, and interactions as recommended by the health care professionals.

Here is what we are doing:

  • The Training Center in Hinckley has suspended the training schedule/operations for two weeks effective today – members scheduled for classes will be notified – as of now the training schedule is set to resume on March 30th but please pay attention to our emails and be checking our website in case that changes.
  • The Minneapolis Union meeting on Wednesday March 18th will take place, but with the following restrictions:
    • The meeting will only consist of executive board business, paying the bills.
    • All other reports and business will be suspended. There will be no drawings either.
    • We expect the meeting to last 10 minutes to conduct routine financial business and then adjourn.
    • Members are encouraged NOT to attend; we will have some BA’s on hand to help move the business, but we need to keep the gathering small as recommended by the health professionals.
    • We will take minutes of this meeting, and they will be posted as soon as possible in the members only section of the website so members can see what official business was done.
    • Limiting the meeting length and attendance will help keep people safe, and other trades and IUOE Locals are also taking similar precautions. This shortened meeting is within the rules set out in the bylaws.
  • All other Local 49 area union meetings in our jurisdiction are suspended in March – we will send out another communication toward the end of this month about April, so pay attention to our emails and our website.
  • Local 49 will be open for business via phone and email only – all walk up service will be suspended – please do not stop by the union halls for business, you will need to call to pay your dues or for any other business you have – we will let you know when this changes and things are back to normal.
  • Administrative staff will be working and will be answering phones – we are simply limiting in person contact to protect them and you.
  • BA’s will be working as well, and you should call them as normal with any issues. BA’s will most likely not be in the union hall so don’t stop in there to see them, no one will be admitted.
  • If you have proposal meetings, contract votes or other business check with your BA on how those meetings will be handled.
  • If you have questions about what your workplace is doing about this, members should ask their employers – if there are concerns or problems call your business agent and we will help address
  • North Dakota members should go to this website to learn more: https://www.health.nd.gov/diseases-conditions/coronavirus
  • South Dakota members should go to this website to learn more: https://doh.sd.gov/news/Coronavirus.aspx
  • Minnesota members should check out the MN Building Trades website which has gathered contact info for all the relevant state agencies:  https://mntrades.org/covid-19-resources/

This is an evolving situation, but we are prepared with plans in place. We will follow the guidance of public health agencies and do our part to help slow the spread of the virus to help protect those most vulnerable. We will get through it and this too shall pass. Please understand we are trying to do the right thing to protect members, families, and staff. We ask for your patience as we work through this together. As of today, we are not hearing of any jobsite closures or layoffs and we hope that remains the case. We are prepared if those things start occurring.

Please continue to stay informed by following our emails and website.

Respectfully,

Jason George

Business Manager