Local 49 members,
The shelter in place order for Minnesota extends through the first half of April currently, and there is the possibility that it will go longer. As of right now, there is no shelter in place order in North or South Dakota, but that is definitely a possibility and probably likely in some form.
General President James Callahan has given Business Managers the authority to cancel or postpone all union meetings, including business meetings, during this crisis. In an abundance of caution, and because union meetings aren’t absolutely necessary given the General President’s recent determination, I am canceling all Local 49 union meetings in our jurisdiction for April.
Most other IUOE Locals are doing the same. The executive board will meet in April via phone conference and will pass basic bills and keep minutes. Those will be posted in the members-only section of the website shortly after that meeting.
These are challenging times as you know, and we are doing the best we can to navigate them while we continue to provide you service and enforce our agreements. We ask for your trust and understanding right now. We all need to work together while we get through this situation.
Business Agents are still on the job, and union halls are still open to answer questions over the phone and point members in the right direction for assistance. Members are largely still working with the exemption for construction in Minnesota. If members feel unsafe on the job because contractors aren’t doing enough to follow the safety protocols, call your Business Agent, and we will take care of it. For the most part, we are hearing from members that things are running safely, but in the few instances where there were problems, we were there to help members address them.
Continue to check out the new and past updates Local 49’s COVID-19 page. On it, you will find all the resources you need and the latest information. We also continue to negotiate the MN Highway Heavy agreement, we have had one meeting so far, with another one tentatively scheduled for Friday of this week. You can find an update on this in the members-only section of the website here.
Hang in there, work safe, follow the directions from the government, and we will all get through this and come out stronger than ever.