Author: iamdistrict54

COVID-19 Update #6

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.

In Solidarity,

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.

https://governor.ohio.gov/wps/portal/gov/governor/media/news-and-media/ohio-stay-at-home-order-extended-through-may-1



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.

https://www.wtap.com/content/news/West-Virginia-primary-pushed-back-to-June-9-569288351.html



LEGISLATIVE UPDATE:

Breakdown of the CARES ACT from the AFL-CIO:

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PDF version here: https://iamdistrict54.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/CARES-Act-Highlights-Memo_3.27.202.pdf



Employee Rights under FFCRA: 

*This only applies to employers with less than 500 employees (nationwide).

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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/

CDC: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-nCoV/index.html


 

Happy Census Day!

Happy Census Day!!

What is the Census?

The census counts everyone who lives in the United States and five U.S. territories, and provides critical data that lawmakers, teachers, and many others use to provide daily services and support for you. Every year, billions of dollars in federal funding go to hospitals, fire departments, schools, roads, and other resources based on census data.

Why is the Census conducted?

The census is mandated by the U.S. Constitution and conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau, a nonpartisan government agency. This year will mark the 24th time that the country has counted its population since 1790.

Three GREAT reasons to fill out your census form:

Help Your Community Thrive. Does your neighborhood have a lot of traffic congestion, elderly people living alone or overcrowded schools? Census numbers can help your community work out public improvement strategies.

Make Government Work for You. It’s a good way to tell our leaders who we are and what we need. The numbers are used to help determine the distribution of hundreds of billions of dollars in federal and state funds. We’re talking hospitals, highways, stadiums and school lunch programs.

Get Help in Times of Need. Many 911 emergency systems are based on maps developed for the last census. Census information helps health providers predict the spread of disease through communities with children or elderly people. When floods, tornadoes or earthquakes hit, the census tells rescuers how many people will need their help.

How to fill out your Census response: 

For the first time, you can choose to complete the census online, by phone, or by mail. Find out more about each of these methods below:

 

There are many different uses for Census information, including:
■ Reapportionment of seats in the U.S. House of Representatives


■ Drawing federal, state and local legislative districts
■ Drawing school district boundaries
■ Budget planning for government at all levels
■ The distribution of over $100 billion in federal funds and even more in state funds

■ Spotting trends in the economic well-being of nation
■ Forecasting future transportation needs for all segments of the population
■ Planning for public transportation services
■ Planning for hospitals, nursing homes, clinics and the location of other health services
■ Planning health and educational services for people with disabilities
■ Forecasting future housing needs for all segments of the population
■ Establishing fair market rents and enforcing fair lending practices
■ Directing funds for services for people in poverty
■ Directing services to children and adults with limited English language proficiency
■ Designing public safety strategies
■ Urban planning
■ Rural development
■ Land use planning
■ Analyzing local trends
■ Understanding labor supply
■ Estimating the numbers of people displaced by natural disasters
■ Assessing the potential for spread of communicable diseases
■ Developing assistance programs for low-income families
■ Analyzing military potential
■ Creating maps to speed emergency services to households in need of assistance
■ Making business decisions
■ Delivering goods and services to local markets
■ Understanding consumer needs
■ Designing facilities for people with disabilities, the elderly or children
■ Planning for congregations
■ Product planning
■ Locating factory sites and distribution centers
■ Investment planning and evaluation of financial risk
■ Setting community goals
■ Publication of economic and statistical reports about the United States and its people
■ Standard for creating both public- and private-sector surveys
■ Scientific research
■ Comparing progress between different geographic areas
■ Developing “intelligent” maps for government and business
■ Genealogical research (after 2072)
■ Proof of age, relationship or residence (certificates provided by the Census Bureau)
■ School projects
■ Medical research
■ Developing adult education programs
■ Media planning and research, back up for news stories
■ Historical research
■ Evidence in litigation involving land use, voting rights and equal opportunity
■ Determining areas eligible for housing assistance and rehabilitation loans
■ Attracting new businesses to state and local areas

This information is sourced from https://2020census.gov

 

 

 

COVID-19 Update #5

Brothers & Sisters,

This week has been unprecedented for our District. All four states with members under our representation now have “stay-at-home” orders.

After conference calls with each affiliated Local Lodge, it holds that the vast majority of our members are classified “essential,” and continue to return to work.

Our staff has served all employers with information requests and notification of your right to bargain over the changes in working conditions due to COVID-19. Many employers were proactive in implementing safety policies regarding COVID-19. After our communications, we saw an immediate transition from employers who had nothing in place, to supplying hand sanitizer and disinfectant wipes, etc., and introducing new policies.

For our members impacted by “non-essential” short closures, we are monitoring the situation and in contact with your employers.

Below you will find resources for the IAM Employee Assistance Program (EAP) and Union Plus, and information regarding Ohio and West Virginia Primary Election Voting Information and Legislative Updates.

Wishing you and your family safety and good health.

In Solidarity,

T. Dean Wright, Jr.
President & Directing Business Representative


 

There are resources available to you during this time:

EAP“The IAM recognizes this is a stressful time for many IAM members, staff and family members due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

The IAM Employee Assistance and Addiction Services Program stands ready to assist members, staff and their families during this tough period.

As with any large scale event such as this we face many challenges. In conjunction with this occurrence we face the familiar list of continuing problems associated with, but not limited to; substance abuse and addictions, mental health, stress, anxiety, depression, financial hardship and socioeconomic issues. All of these are serious matters that can cause problems by worsening the situation and negatively impacting the quality of life for many of our members.”

IAM EAP Services can be accessed by emailing iameap@iamaw.org or by calling 301-335-0735.

IAM Addiction Services can be reached by calling 1-888-250-4IAM (4426).


 

union-plus-logo_0Union Plus offers Hardship Help benefits. That’s financial, homeowner and healthcare assistance for union members and families.

Check it out here: https://www.unionplus.org/hardship-help/union-plus-hardship-help-benefits

 


 

OHIO PRIMARY ELECTION & HOW TO VOTE:

38b15a88-e87b-48ce-9c8c-7c08bcc1a77b-large16x9_BenivotedstickerThe Ohio General Assembly has put in place a plan that will allow Ohioans to continue voting until April 28.

Voting will be conducted by absentee mail-in ballots.

To request your ballot:
1) Call your county board of elections
OR
2) Fill out your form online at https://www.ohiosos.gov/elections/voters/absentee-ballot/

After you fill out the request online, you have to put the completed form in an envelope with correct postage and mail it to your county board of elections.

Request a Vote-By-Mail Absentee Ballot here: https://www.ohiosos.gov/elections/voters/absentee-ballot/

County Board of Elections Information: https://www.ohiosos.gov/elections/elections-officials/county-boards-of-elections-directory/

Ballots must be received by 7:30 p.m. on April 28, or postmarked on or before April 27 and received by May 8 to count.

Voters with disabilities and those who are unable to receive mail may cast ballots in person at their county voting center on April 28.

Don’t lose your voice! Vote!


 

WEST VIRGINIA PRIMARY ELECTION DATES:

90April 21, 2020 – Deadline to register to vote

April 29 – May 9, 2020 – Early Voting at the county courthouse, annex or designated community voting location during normal business hours and Saturdays 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM.

May 6, 2020 – Deadline to request an absentee ballot for all voters.

May 5, 2020 – May 11, 2020 – Official List of Candidates or Sample Ballot published in local newspapers throughout the state (publication dates will vary by county).

May 11, 2020 – Deadline to hand-deliver Absentee Ballot to County Clerk’s office.

May 12, 2020 – Primary Election Day

May 13, 2020 – Absentee Ballots without postmark accepted.

May 18, 2020 – (Canvass) – Absentee Ballot postmarked by Election Day accepted if received by start of Canvass.

WV Voter information can be found here: https://sos.wv.gov/elections/Pages/GoVoteWV.aspx


 

Legislative Update: 

EMERGENCY PAID SICK LEAVE ACT:

Effective April 1, 2020, the Federal Government authorized paid sick leave in certain circumstances. The Department of Labor will be issuing regulations which will give further clarity to what the law requires and Congress is considering additional relief packages which may supplement this new law.

Find attached a link to the International’s summary of what the law requires as of March 20, 2020: https://www.goiam.org/news/emergency-paid-sick-leave-act/

 

Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion Act:

Effective April 1, 2020, the Federal Government amended the FMLA to provide for increased coverage for certain employees. The government also separately authorized paid sick leave; however, when it comes to FMLA, the pay component is actually limited to childcare responsibilities caused by Covid-19. Further, it is anticipated that the Department of Labor will be issuing regulations which will give further clarity to what the law requires and Congress is considering additional relief packages which may supplement this new law.

Find attached a link to the International’s summary of what the law requires as of March 20, 2020: https://www.goiam.org/news/emergency-family-and-medical-leave-expansion-act/

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