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It’s hitting the fan. It was a tough Thanksgiving for everyone and the dire warnings about family gatherings are coming to fruition. The numbers are going up in all three categories: positive tests, hospitalizations, and deaths. Unfortunately, we have had positive tests at Local 3 also and have taken steps to reduce the risk to our staff and clericals by limiting access to the workplace and have many working remotely. Additionally, there have been several jobs that have reported positive tests and members being required to quarantine. We have had reports that some jobs are providing tests and requiring negative tests to access the worksite. These are recent, limited and developing situations. We are monitoring this closely, so please advise the Construction Desk of any requirements regarding testing on your jobs. The vaccinations can’t get here soon enough.

The unemployment rate is rising as well, with over 1,500 ‘A’-rated unemployed in the city. The January furlough requirements will be determined at this month’s Joint Board meeting. If the number of unemployed is over 15%, the plan calls for a ten-week furlough and 15% of the furlough-eligible workforce to be hired as furlough replacements.

That will help, but a stimulus bill would help more. It really is unbelievable. Trump continuing his denial and delusion over the election results and his failure to properly address the pandemic has wrought unnecessary heartache across the country. McConnell and the Republican Senators are failing the American people desperate for help, and closer to home, misguided and selfish Trump supporters are challenging the rules set to protect them from themselves and everyone else. COVID kills. The seven-day average in the U.S. is roughly 2,400 COVID deaths per day. Per day, in America. Unfathomable. Wear a mask and social distance.

To put those deaths in perspective, remember December 7, 1941, when Japan attacked Pearl Harbor. A day that lives in infamy and killed 2,403 Americans. We remember.

National Park Service Statement on Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day

“This year’s Pearl Harbor Day Commemoration's theme, Above and Beyond the Call, represents a milestone of its own, as the first December 7 commemoration to follow the nationwide commemoration of the 75th anniversary of the end of WWII. This year’s ceremony will focus on Battlefield O`ahu. Though the Japanese Empire focused on the destruction of the Pacific Fleet in Pearl Harbor, the attack encompassed the entire island with assaults on Army and Marine aviation bases as well as civilian facilities.

The experiences of the soldiers, Marines, Coast Guardsmen and sailors defending O`ahu, as well as the civilians caught in the crossfire, would exemplify courage under fire and perseverance. Their spirit at the beginning of the long crucible of war would frame the template for the securing of victory and peace.”

It is our hope that our next President will instill that same spirit in all Americans who are under fire and persevering during this fight and that we too secure victory in the coming months.