These are trying times brothers and sisters. It is impossible to hold a regular union meeting under the current restrictions and concerns for everyone's health. However, we have committed to hold the nominations of officers at the General Membership Meeting on Thursday, April 9th at the JIB Auditorium.
In normal times, nominations would open and close at that meeting, but given the current circumstances, letters were sent opening the nominations either in person at Local 3 or by mail, as we anticipated limited access to the April meeting. As such,
- The meeting will be limited to no more than 90 members, with 30 inside the hall, 30 seated in the courtyard next to the library and 30 seated on the plaza in front of the main entrance to the auditorium while conforming to strict distancing regulations.
- Access will require a temperature check and the issuance of a mask.
- Entrance will be restricted to two points: one at the top of the driveway by the bowling alley and the other by the library.
- There will also be inspectors with blank cards for nominations before the meeting, that will be accepted and brought into the meeting even if you are denied access due to the restrictions.
The meeting will start promptly at 5 p.m. with the approval of the minutes of the last meeting and the approval of the bills and Executive Board minutes. The rest of the normal order of business will be suspended. Nominations will then be opened and closed in a timely process. I did not want to delay this important process. If there are additional nominations to any position besides the incumbent and we need to hold an election in May then we will know it on Thursday. These are difficult times and we are committed to ensuring that the process is fair and open. If you need to be there, come early, and if not then stay home. This will be orderly and safely done as possible. Once we hit the limit of members you will be asked to disperse, respecting the need for social distancing.
This virus continues to ravage the New York area. I’m sorry to report that as of Friday afternoon, we have had 3 members pass because of the virus. 18 members and 17 spouses or covered family members have been hospitalized with 14 already sent home. Not all were COVID-19 positive but most were. We are thankful they were discharged and now home recovering.
The unemployment in our Construction Division is nearly 4,000 or roughly 40%, including existing layoffs and temporary layoffs due to jobs closing and the non-essential construction shutdown. This includes more than 3,000 “A” rated electricians and we anticipate that number to rise. The impact on the funds and the ability of the union to fulfill its responsibilities will be challenging to say the least. Along with the Joint Board staff, Local 3 has temporarily laid off 50% of the clerical staff and cut the pay and benefits for the officers, business reps and assistant business managers. We will continue to monitor the finances and the contributions to the funds and make the necessary adjustments in order to survive. This is about survival now and we will need the support of every member as we make difficult decisions in order to protect the membership and their families.