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Safer at Home Order

Read the full order at the end of this post. Construction Trades are exempt from the order as described below (emphasis added):

n. Critical trades. Building and Construction Tradesmen and
Tradeswomen, and other trades including but not limited to
plumbers, electricians, carpenters, laborers, sheet metal, iron
workers, masonry, pipe trades, fabricators, finishers,
exterminators, pesticide application, cleaning and janitorial
staff for commercial and governmental properties, security staff,
operating engineers, HVAC, painting, moving and relocation
services, forestry and arborists, and other service providers who
provide services that are necessary to maintaining the safety,
sanitation, and essential operation of residences, Essential
Activities, Essential Governmental Functions, and Essential
Businesses and Operations.

March 23, 2020: COVID-19 Update

159 Family,

Governor Evers has issued an order that will go into effect tomorrow:

  • “Under the order, people will be able to go to grocery stores, doctor’s offices and pharmacies and go outside to exercise or walk a dog. But people will be required to stay at home for most other reasons and the governor noted that means “no sleepovers, no playdates and no dinner parties with friends and neighbors.” 
  • Businesses will be forced to close unless they are deemed to provide essential services.
  • Restaurants, which were closed by the governor last week for dine-in service, will be able to continue to provide delivery and curbside takeout, according to the governor.   
  • Some manufacturers, such as paper product maker Kimberly-Clark Corp., may also stay open under the governor’s order.
Read more... “March 23, 2020: COVID-19 Update”

March 20th 2020 – COVID-19 Update

Union News

  • The April union meeting has been canceled.
  • For now, all upcoming union events and classes have been cancelled or postponed until further notice. Apprentices should have received notice about arrangements for their classes. Apprentices should monitor their email. All Madison College facilities will remain closed until May 15.
  • Exception: the Local 159 Executive Board meeting cannot be cancelled (per the International Office), and will be held by conference call.
  • Apprenticeship applications are not being taken, for now.
  • Negotiations will continue for all contracts. There will be Inside talks next week. VDV talks have been scheduled.
  • The WEEBF office will be open for phone calls, but not for walk-in visitors, 608.276.9111.
  • Watch for ongoing updates on the Local 159 website and Facebook page.
Read more... “March 20th 2020 – COVID-19 Update”

March 19th 2020 – COVID-19 Update

As we mentioned, as the COVID-19 situation evolves, we have been trying to get information from the contractors about worker health and safety on job sites. We also continue to field questions from members.

Make sure you read the IBEW/NECA National Disease Emergency Response Agreement, posted last night.

Please see the last two bullet points in that document:

The employer shall not contest any unemployment claims filed by employees temporarily furloughed as a result of a restricted or closed jobsite due to the coronavirus or similar disease, or who have refused to be present at the jobsite out of a genuine belief that being present would place them in imminent danger of contracting coronavirus, or who have been quarantined, or advised to self-quarantine, due to possible exposure to coronavirus; and

Such employees shall be permitted to return to their original positions with their employer upon the resumption of work on the jobsite, and/or their ability to return, without the need of the referral process, and irrespective of whether such employees have signed their local union’s out-of-work list.

Read more... “March 19th 2020 – COVID-19 Update”