Sisters and Brothers,
On Thursday, we heard from Governor Gavin Newsom that all Californians are directed to stay home amid the COVID-19 pandemic. This will help stop the spread of the virus, or “flatten the curve” as everyone has been saying. What does this mean to you as an IBEW member in Los Angeles County?
Construction work, and specifically electricians, are considered “essential” and are exempt from this order. You can still go to work, and it is up to the employer or owner of the project to determine whether to shut down or not.
After directives from the City and County of Los Angeles, all IBEW 11 dispatch offices were closed Friday, March 20, 2020. After meetings with legislators, officials and counsel, the business of the Local Union was deemed essential. We will practice safety guidelines and social distancing and open the Union Halls on Monday, March 23, 2020.
I would be remiss if I failed to give thanks to the IBEW Local 11 employees who are committed to serving the members. These sisters and brothers give so much of themselves on your behalf and are truly concerned for your well being. They should be commended for all they do.
Effective March 16, 2020, IBEW International President Lonnie Stephenson and NECA CEO David Long signed an agreement for our industry to react quickly to the current pandemic. In this agreement, if you are denied access to your job site in response to the coronavirus, your employer can temporarily furlough you. As a furloughed employee, you can make an unemployment claim and your employer shall not contest it. You can also stay home if you feel you have symptoms of the virus. You can report to work later, bypassing the referral process at the hall. This agreement along with questions and answers are posted on the Local 11 website and will be posted in all hiring halls.
We are taking the restrictions regarding COVID-19 seriously and acting as quickly as possible as new information becomes available. If you want to work, are not showing or feeling symptoms of the virus, and have access to your job site, you can work. Remember, our jobs are an essential part of the California economy, but your health and that of your family should be your priority. Continue to practice all the precautions, wash your hands frequently and practice social distancing.
Stay healthy and we will get through this together.
Business Manager / Financial Secretary