Building Material and Construction Trade Division update from Director Marion (Bubba) Davis for May 11, 2020:
Even though there has been a slowdown in the economy due to the COVID-19 crisis, construction projects in many states continue on due to exemptions made by state. This is good news for our members working on projects like these, but we also need everyone to be cautious while they are on the job and observe CDC guidelines.
Many of our members are had been practicing social distancing long before the COVID-19 crisis. For example, driving a Ready-Mix truck or a plywood truck or using a marooka on a site requires that the driver be alone in the cab. Where our members are most at risk now is in a warehouse setting. We have many members, sometimes 100 at a time, working at various sites, such as the Vogtle nuclear plant in Georgia and the Shell ethane cracker plant in Pennsylvania, where they must work in close proximity to others while they store and distribute tools and machinery from the warehouse.
On pipeline work, our members travel to and from the worksite by bus whose driver is also a member of the Teamsters union. Crowding the bus with many people, as it was in the past, will surely be changed in order to protect all of the workers.
I want to remind everyone that the IBT has published some fact sheets that are very helpful. One in particular, "The Union’s Role in the Workplace", can be accessed here. https://teamster.org/sites/default/files/ibtsafetyandhealthcovid19unionsroleinworkplacepreparationkm.pdf Another fact sheet, "Exposed and Infected Workers Rights and Employers Responsibilities" can be accessed here: https://teamster.org/sites/default/files/4920covid19covid19positiveworker.pdf gives valuable information should someone in your workplace become infected.
Our training program for pipeline construction is on hold and intends to resume when it is safe to do so. To keep up-to-date on training opportunities, please see the website: https://www.teamsterspipeline.com/event-and-class-schedule/