Local Union No. 3 continues to serve the membership in these challenging times. Please use the resources included on this page for information about COVID-19 or novel coronavirus, as well as updates on the response within the electrical industry and building trades.

Click to download the informational flyers below in the following languages: English, Spanish, Chinese and Korean.

Enhlish - Symptoms
English - Stop the Spread
Spanish - Symptoms
Spanish - Stop the Spread
Chinese - Symptoms
Chinese - Stop the Spread
Korean - Symptoms
Korean - Stop the Spread
Local Union No. 3:
  • Building Access – restricted to employees, reduced staff, and pre-scheduled appointments only
  • Dues Dept. – make every effort to pay dues by mail
  • 4th Floor offices – by appointment only and with reduced clerical and administrative staff; all offices and reps will be available by phone and email
  • Division Meetings and Affiliated Club Meetings – if not pertaining to nominations or elections of officers, suspended for a two-month period pending further notice
  • Affiliated Club events – many club events have been canceled or postponed over the next two months; check with the individual club for confirmation
  • Charter/Spectrum 23rd Street picket line – suspended until further notice
  • Political Action – suspended until further notice
  • Local Union No. 3 elections –
    • Election of the Election Board canceled, due to the exact number of nominees for a number of positions on the Election Board
    • Nomination of Local Union No. 3 officers – still being held at the April General Membership meeting, subject to any federal, state, and local restrictions in place at that time; Nominations can be made and accepted in person or by mail between now and when the Chairman suspends normal business at the April General Membership meeting to open the special meeting to accept nominations of officers
       
  • No change to the location of elections on May 16 as of now, but if necessary, the Joint Board Auditorium has been chosen as an alternate site

 

Local Union No. 3 – White Plains offices:

  • Access and meetings by appointment only if necessary; members are encouraged to handle all Local Union No. 3 business over the phone

 

Potential Job Closings and Quarantines:

  • Employers have agreed to increase the amount of Wage Replacement Days that a member is eligible to use if a job site is closed or if you miss time due to the illness or quarantine, from 5 days to 30 days
  • Please refer to the chart below highlighting the potential options available
     

Non-Essential Construction Shutdown – As of Friday, March 27th, Governor Cuomo has amended his Executive Order by halting all non-essential construction. The guidelines from New York State are below:

  • All non-essential construction must shut down except emergency construction, (e.g. a project necessary to protect the health and safety of the occupants or to continue a project if it would be unsafe to allow it to remain undone until it is safe to shut the site).

  • Essential construction may continue and includes roads, bridges, transit facilities, utilities, hospitals or health care facilities, affordable housing, and homeless shelters. At every site, if essential or emergency non-essential construction, this includes maintaining social distance, including for purposes of elevators/meals/entry and exit. Sites that cannot maintain distance and safety best practices must close and enforcement will be provided by the state in coordination with the city/local governments. This will include fines of up to $10,000 per violation.
     

Stimulus Package Passed – A $2 trillion economic relief plan went into effect late last week. Local 3, the Joint Board, and the signatory employers are still combing through the details to understand all the effects this package has on our members. The initial impacts will be seen in direct stimulus payment to those who are eligible, an expansion of unemployment benefits in both money, timing, and scope, adjustments to the regulations on retirement accounts, amongst other changes. Not every item may apply to every individual and things are changing every day.

  • Unemployment: There will be an additional $600 per week for eligible workers above the state unemployment benefit, effective through July 31. The bill also provides eligible workers an additional 13 weeks (up to a total of 39 weeks). This expanded coverage weeks will last until December 31.
     

Retirement Accounts (i.e. 401(k)) – The IRS has waived the 10% penalty for early withdrawals up to $100,000, as long as it is due to the COVID-19 outbreak. Withdrawn money will still be taxed, however, anything withdrawn due to the outbreak can be spread out over a three year period. For 2020, there will be no required minimum distributions from individual retirement accounts. Also, you can borrow up to $100,000 up to 100% of your 401k account balance for the next 180 days as long as you have been affected by the outbreak. Existing loans that were to be repaid by December 31, 2020 can be extended by one year.

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Joint Industry Board
  • Building Access at the Joint Board has been adjusted to reduce contact/interaction: Access will be by appointment only; if you need to meet with someone in person, there are phones set up in the Member Center with a list of phone extensions
  • No access to the Joint Board building through JIB Lanes
  • Medical & Optical Dept. – closed; appointments have been postponed until further notice; please consult with your primary care doctor if you are unwell
  • Employment Dept. – layoffs and registering for employment can be handled over the phone at 718-591-2000, ext. 1490, or by email at EmploymentSlips@jibei.com
  • Apprentice Dept. –
    • Apprentice Theory Classes are suspended until further notice
    • Apprentice Hands-on Classes at the Electrical Industry Training Center in Long Island City are suspended until further notice
    • SUNY Empire State Labor College classes have moved to online instruction
       
  • Educational & Cultural Trust Fund –
    • All Educational & Cultural Trust Fund Classes are suspended/postponed
    • Critical Thinking seminars at the Long Island Educational Center postponed
       
  • Covid-19 Tutorial Through LMS – Available to all members of Local 3 by logging into the JIB Learning Management System (LMS) on www.jiblearning.org is a 25-minute concise tutorial on COVID-19 - Acute Respiratory Illness Pandemics: Prevention and Response
  • Pension Dept. – by appointment only
  • Safety Dept. – members are encouraged to call and schedule an appointment for any photos/voice recognition/SST-related needs

Mental Health – These are extremely difficult times for us all. Please know that Dr. John Krachenfels at JIB is available by telephone to offer a supportive ear to listen and to offer guidance on handling stress and anxiety. He also has information on crisis hotlines and online support groups. Dr. Krachenfels remains available as always to also help with problems with substance abuse. He can be reached between the hours of 9:00 AM and 6:00 PM at:  718-591-2000, ext. 1396.

John Krachenfels, Ph.D., LCSW-R, CASAC II
Director, JIB Substance Abuse Services

158-11 Harry Van Arsdale Jr. Avenue
Flushing, NY 11365
Ph: 718-591-2000 ext. 1396

These are some other hotlines that can offer help:

  • Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) Disaster Distress Helpline: 1-800-985-5990
  • National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-TALK (8255)
  • New York City Mental Health Hotline: 1-888-NYC-Well
  • Samaritans 24-Hour Crisis Hotline for those in distress or at risk of suicide: (212) 673-3000
  • Veterans Crisis Hotline: Call, text or chat online at https://www.veteranscrisisline.net; 1-800-273-8255; For the deaf or hard of hearing: 1-800-799-4889
NYC Building Trades: Industry Standards Guidance

The COVID-19 pandemic is unprecedented in the health challenges it presents to the World, New York State, New York City, and the New York City construction industry.  The construction industry is an essential sector of our economy and it will be a vital element of our City’s economic recovery from the economic crisis caused by the pandemic.  The New York City Building and Construction Trades Council (“NYC BCTC”) and the Real Estate Board of New York (“REBNY”) have joined together and are committed to responding to this public health crisis in a manner that is effective, maximizes the safety of workers and the public,  minimizes unemployment for workers, and allows for the continuation of the vital work of building and maintaining the City’s infrastructure and buildings.   To this end, the following  Industry Standards are offered as guidance to the industry and  supplement the Construction Industry Safety Protocol adopted by the NYC BCTC and BTEA on March 17th, 2020.  These standards are under constant review and may be updated consistently with published guidance to ensure best practices are followed to keep workers and the public safe.

  • Construction Managers and Employers will be monitoring worker’s health in accordance with CDC and DOH guidance and workers that exhibit symptoms including fever, will be sent home.
  • Construction Managers and Employers shall to the extent possible, enforce social distancing standards recommended by the CDC, NYC DOB, and DOH.    
    • Pre-shift meetings and orientations etc. shall include information on protecting against infection; follow social distancing practices, and shall be conducted in a safe manner in accordance with public health guidance.
    • Where social distancing of at least 6 feet or more is not possible due to work tasks it is especially important to engage in good hand hygiene,  avoid personal contact and use other protective measures in accordance with public health guidance. 
    • Crew size will be limited and interaction of crews will be limited in accordance with public health guidance.
    • Employees shall be required to engage in 100% compliance with existing protective eyewear and work glove policies and such equipment shall be made readily available.
    • Employers shall provide PPE (and related training) appropriate for the situation.
       
  • Construction Managers and  Employers will collaborate to create best practices for risk assessment and mitigation, maintaining a robust sanitizing schedule for all frequently touched surfaces throughout all work shifts, spatial separation including at hoists and shanties, schedule planning and coordination, protection of occupied spaces,  and medic services.
  • Employers shall be permitted to remove an employee from the jobsite and, depending on the circumstances, require the employee to obtain a doctor’s release certifying the employee is able to return to work if an employee: 
    • Reports having contact with another person(s) who has reasonably believed to have contracted COVID-19 or a similar disease.
    • Has recently returned from international travel.
    • https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/traveladvisories/ea/travel-advisory-alert-global-level-4-health-advisory-issue.html 
    • Presents symptoms associated with the COVID-19 or similar disease as defined by the CDC.
    • Receives an objective and non-discriminatory assessment of symptoms by the jobsite medic, representative of the General Contractor/CM or a representative of their own employer.
      • Non-invasive thermal reading devices and thermometer guns may be used by trained medics or medical professionals assigned by the individual’s employer at entrance gates or in each trade contractor’s shanty/office trailer. The highest standards of infection control shall be used when checking temperatures as well as using reasonable efforts to maintain confidentiality of such readings.
    • Any employee that has tested positive or been removed from the job based on an objective assessment of symptoms shall not be permitted to return to the job, or any job, until the employee has been quarantined for a sufficient period in accordance with public health guidelines, or can produce a negative COVID-19 test, or is able to produce a medical clearance to return to work.
       
  • Where there is a known or suspected positive COVID-19 case on a job site, the Employer must take the following action:
    • Notify the Construction Manager (CM) or General Contractor (GC) immediately 
    • Identify those in close proximity to the worker to the extent possible and communicate that information to the CM or GC and the trade shop stewards.
    • Trade shop stewards shall notify their respective union hall immediately.
    • The site must be cleaned and disinfected with products recognized by the US EPA and/or American Chemistry Council for use against viruses such as COVID-19 and others.
    • Notice of when such cleaning and disinfecting shall occur will be provided to all trades on site along with information regarding the products/chemicals used; how they are applied; and the locations, equipment, and supplies where they were applied.
    • Hazmat precautions will be taken to protect employees from chemical exposure where appropriate in accordance with industry standards.
       
  • If an employee is confirmed to have COVID-19 or similar disease, the employer shall notify all employees who were believed to be in contact with this individual and take actions consistent with appropriate protocols to prevent the further spread of the disease.  Where individual notifications are not possible, signs shall be posted on the site and any appropriate website that will communicate to employees the existence of positive COVID-19 case(s) on the site.
    • The Employer shall engage in a risk assessment consistent with public health  guidance  
    • No adverse action shall be taken against employees that leave the job and self-isolates as  result of such notification.
       
  • The Employers shall not transfer and Unions shall not knowingly refer any employee with a positive COVID-19 test, a pending test result, or an individual on quarantine or isolation awaiting a test, medical appointment, to another job site for work pending clearance from a medical professional.
    • All unions will seek authority as appropriate to suspend hiring hall or referral hall rules with respect to the order of referral for any employee with a positive COVID-19 test, a pending test result, or an individual on quarantine or isolation awaiting a test, medical appointment related to COVID-19 or similar infectious disease.
       
  • Employers should designate a contact person for employees to address COVID-19 questions and concerns. 
  • If an employee reasonably believes another employee(s) has met one or more of the above conditions, the employee shall report such as soon as reasonably possible. 
    • Such report shall be made anonymously and confidentially to the Employer’s designee, without any adverse action.  
    • The employer shall then follow all appropriate guidance and protocols to ensure a safe jobsite, including a risk assessment by a jobsite medic where available, and jobsite disinfecting where reasonable cause to believe there has been an exposure;
       
  • There shall be no adverse action taken against an employee who refuses to be present at a jobsite so long as the employee believes there is imminent danger and a reasonable person would agree there is real danger of contracting COVID-19 at the jobsite.
    • If an employee reports a belief that there is imminent danger, the Employer shall investigate any reasonable means to mitigate that danger, including but not limited to:
      • Sanitizing
      • Prohibiting shared equipment, tools, and vehicles 
      • Increasing spatial separation
      • Risk assessment 
      • Medic assessment 
    • The personal choice of employees not to work under these circumstances shall not be considered a strike, work stoppage or other job disruption, and shall not be alleged to be a violation of any collective bargaining agreements’ no-strike provisions.
       
  • OSHA and its Whistleblower Protection Program protects all employees when raising jobsite safety concerns related to COVID-19.
  • Employers shall comply with any federal and/or state leave requirements, as applicable, and any collective bargaining agreement or other PTO entitlements as may be applicable.  
  • There shall be no adverse action taken against an employee who has been quarantined or advised to self-quarantine, self-monitor, due to possible exposure to COVID-19, and such employees shall be permitted to return to work upon medical clearance from a medical professional, including the assessment of a jobsite medic.
  • In the event access to a jobsite is restricted by an appropriate public or private authority, owner or Construction Manager in response to the COVID-19 or similar disease, the employer shall be permitted to temporarily lay-off the employees assigned to this jobsite and such employees shall be eligible for unemployment, or other appropriate leave, including extended COVID-19 related benefits provided by local, state or federal law.
  • 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.
  • Employers shall negotiate with their respective collective bargaining partners regarding alternative work schedules, alternative transportation, and parking to avoid mass transit and or crew trucks, staggering the workforce, starting times; rotation of workforce, other methods of reducing the number of employees on-site while maintaining efficiency, additional methods of encouraging sick or symptomatic employees to self-isolate.

 

Download the NYC Building Trades’ Industry Standards Guidance