Brothers & Sisters,
Just as a follow-up to last week’s update, I have continued daily conference calls with the staff and local lodge leaders. I wanted to share more resources and legislative updates with you.
Below you will find information regarding your safety committee, example safety policies during COVID-19, Ohio’s extended stay-at-home order, the WV primary election, and general legislative updates.
Thank you to my staff, our local lodge officers and stewards, and membership for their support and solidarity during this time.
T. Dean Wright, Jr.
President & Directing Business Representative
WHAT YOU AND YOUR SAFETY COMMITTEE CAN DO:
During this time, I suggest your shop safety committee frequently meets, at a minimum of once a week. In addition to this, take detailed notes with the 5 W’s (who, what, when, where, why) and collect any documents passed out or posted by the company. This information will be essential to communicate with us and company representatives to bargain if needed over working conditions related to the COVID-19 pandemic and/or in the use of grievance cases.
SAFETY POLICIES DURING COVID-19:
Here are some example practices that our shops have implemented regarding COVID-19.
- Checking every employee’s temperature at the beginning of each shift. A trained professional with PPE should perform this task. This time should be paid.
- Staggering shifts by twenty minutes so there is no cross-over between shifts.
- Go to the honor code or change to a different system than the time clock. This high congregation area prevents social distancing and sanitary surfaces.
- Extra paid break time to wash-up and clean working area.
- Company hired cleaning crews.
- Designated person to clean door handles and other frequently touched objects.
- Avoid using other people’s tools, computer, etc.
- Limit the amount of people gathered on lunch/break with staggered breaks.
- Equalize shifts.
- No points on attendance.
- Placement of hand sanitizers and disinfectant wipes around the facility.
OHIO STAY-AT-HOME ORDER EXTENDED UNTIL MAY 1:
The extended order and new restrictions take effect on Monday, April 6 until 11:59 p.m. on May 1, 2020.
(COLUMBUS, Ohio)— Ohio Governor Mike DeWine announced yesterday that Ohio’s Stay at Home order has been extended until 11:59 p.m. on May 1, 2020.
Ohio Department of Health Director Dr. Amy Acton, MD, MPH, signed the updated order this afternoon. It goes into effect at midnight on Monday.
“We understand that this is tough – it is very difficult. But, I would not be making these decisions if it wasn’t a mater of life and death,” said Governor DeWine. “We have to keep this monster down. It’s not dead – it’s very much alive.”
The full Stay at Home order can be found on coronavirus.ohio.gov.
Updates to the new order include:
- The creation of a dispute resolution process for situations where two local health departments have come to a different conclusion on what is or is not an essential business.
- The requirement that essential businesses determine and enforce a maximum number of customers allowed in a store at one time. These businesses must ensure that people waiting to enter the stores maintain safe social distancing.
- Direction that travelers arriving to Ohio should self-quarantine for 14 days. Exceptions include persons who live and work in trans-border areas, heath care workers, public health workers, public safety workers, transportation workers and designated essential workers. Visitors are instructed not to travel to Ohio if they are displaying symptoms, excepting in certain circumstances for medical care.
- The mandate that wedding receptions be limited to no more than 10 people.
- A clarification to close campgrounds with the exception where a camper or recreational vehicle in a campground serves as a citizen’s permanent residence and they are unable to secure safe alternative housing.
- The requirement that public swimming pools and swimming pools at private clubs or housing complexes close to prevent transmission of COVID-19. This does not apply to private residential pools.
- The clarification that retail garden centers can remain open but should determine and enforce a reduced capacity to keep customers and employees safe.
- The closure of day camps for children.
- The prohibition of organized youth and adult sports.
- The clarification that fishing is permitted if proper social distancing is practiced.
WEST VIRGINIA PRIMARY ELECTION DATE MOVED TO JUNE 9:
Gov. Jim Justice has rescheduled West Virginia’s May 12 primary election to June 9.
He cites fears about the coronavirus spreading at polling places.
Justice said medical experts told him that having the primary on its originally scheduled date would be unsafe for voters and poll workers.
He says “There is no question moving this date is the right thing to do,” Secretary of State Mac Warner has mailed absentee ballot applications to registered voters, seeking to increase mail-in voting.
He said deadlines on those applications as well as the early voting period will be extended.
Breakdown of the CARES ACT from the AFL-CIO:
Employee Rights under FFCRA:
*This only applies to employers with less than 500 employees (nationwide).
IAM SBA Loan Memo:
Part of the $2 trillion federal coronavirus relief package (“CARES Act”) is the Paycheck Protection Program (“PPP”). The PPP allows businesses with under 500 employees (all employees including affiliates, not just bargaining unit members) to obtain low interest loans (0.5%) to pay its employees when “current economic uncertainty makes the loan necessary to support ongoing operations.” Each employer can receive up to $10 million, or 2.5 times the businesses’ total payroll over the loan period. The loans are to be applied to payroll costs incurred from February 15 through June 30. The loans are to be repaid over a two-year period, starting in six months after the loan is taken out, but, critically, loans covering the first eight weeks of payroll costs are entirely forgiven as long as the business does not lay off its workers. Put another way, the federal government will pay a small employer’s payroll costs for eight weeks as long as it does not lay off its workers during the coronavirus crisis.
Read the entire memo here: https://iamdistrict54.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/SBA-Loan-Memo.pdf
COVID-19 Resource Links:
OH Gov. Health Department: https://odh.ohio.gov/wps/portal/gov/odh/home
OH Office of Unemployment Insurance Operations: https://unemployment.ohio.gov
WV Gov. Health Department: https://dhhr.wv.gov/COVID-19/Pages/default.aspx
IN Gov. Health Department: https://coronavirus.in.gov
MI Gov. Health Department: https://www.michigan.gov/coronavirus/