Local 19 Members, We are all aware of the rapidly evolving situation concerning COVID-19 throughout our territory and the world. I want all of our members and their families to know that Local 19 in conjunction with SMCA and all signatory contractors are actively monitoring health and industry updates as they are provided.
I'm working closely with Peter Jenkins from SMCA which covers the Philadelphia and DE territories and Lori Eshenaur from Central PA SMCA to establish agreed-upon procedures for addressing jobsite shutdowns, employee health concerns, and related issues that may occur as a result of COVID-19.
Both Local 19 and our contractors understand that this is a highly complex situation which is likely to involve a “one day at a time” approach for all of us. Please be assured that labor and management are equally concerned with keeping everyone in our industry safe and healthy.
With that in mind, I ask that if a situation arises in which a jobsite or your shop is being affected by the COVID-19, please contact the Local 19 Business Representative for that worksite immediately.
The Union is working hand-in-hand with SMCA and signatory contractors to address these concerns as they are presented to us. In order to provide the best and most consistent responses, handling these matters as a Union is the ideal means of addressing an issue of this magnitude. Obviously, we are all in new territory with this, and your officials at Local 19 are here to help.
As a Local 19 member whether active or retired, you have many resources at your disposal through our Health and Welfare Office and patient advocates, the Guardian Nurses (see telephone number below). Local 19 Health and Welfare Office telephone: 215-952-1999 option 3. Guardian Nurse Patient Advocates: Lauren Lennon - 484-800-2932 Megan Carr - 484-800-5626
It is important to monitor your health and know the symptoms of COVID-19 which can begin anywhere from 2 to 14 days after exposure. Symptoms include: fever accompanied by a sore throat, coughing (dry)/sneezing and shortness of breath in more severe cases.
If you or anyone in your family falls ill, please contactGuardian Nurses or your doctor by phone immediately. Best not to leave anything to chance.
All the Building Trades within our territory are working closely together to ensure all precautions are taken and ensuring necessary resources are available to members. Guidance on Preparing Workplaces for COVID-19 from OSHA https://www.osha.gov/Publications/OSHA3990.pdf
With health and safety in mind, Local 19 is stressing the following measures suggested by the CDC be taken:
Wash your hands often. (minimum of 20 seconds)
Use hand sanitizer often.
Cover coughs with a tissue (preferably), your hand, or the bend of your elbow. Dispose of tissue (if applicable) and wash hands immediately.
Avoid touching your face.
Sanitize surfaces in areas where people congregate, break area or shanties.
Avoid shaking hands & physical contact with others (especially if they are visually ill).
Avoid large gatherings.
Avoid using co-workers’ phones, devices, work tools, or equipment. If you do, be sure to wash your hands after.
When returning home from work the best practice is disrobe at the door and shower immediately.
Wash work clothes separate from the rest of your laundry.
If you are sick, we suggest you stay home and self-quarantine.
And above all else, stay calm and do not panic.
If you need information on testing sites or how to navigate the process, call the Guardian Nurses at the numbers listed above and they will help you.
Check the CDC website on precautions to take and what to do if you become ill.
Foreclosure Protections: Prohibits foreclosures of federally backed mortgage loans for 60 days, and up to 180 days of forbearance for borrowers of a federally backed mortgage loan who have experienced a financial hardship related to COVID-19. Provides up to 90 days forbearance on multi-family properties with federally backed loans. Borrowers receiving forbearance may not evict or charge late fees to tenants during forbearance period. No protections for mortgages that are not federally assisted (through private lenders).
Student Debt: This affects members with dependents and requires Secretary of Education to suspend all payments on federal student loans through September 30, 2020, with no accrual of interest.
Note: The State you file your initial claim in is dependent on where the majority of your hours were worked.
Have general questions about COVID-19? The NJ Poison Control Center and 211 have partnered with the State to provide information to the public on COVID-19: Call: 2-1-1 Call (24/7): 1-800-962-1253 Text: NJCOVID to 898-211 Visit https://covid19.nj.gov/ or nj.gov/health for additional information
If you need any assistance in navigating the process to file an initial claim for Unemployment Benefits in PA or NJ, please contact Joe Rispo @ 215-416-9894 or Todd Farally @ 610-329-7927.
If you are unsure which benefits you are entitled to, please contact your Business Agent.
Also, if you or a loved one you live with are exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19, it is suggested that you stay home and self-quarantine to limit the possible spread of the virus to others.
It is very important I reiterate that we must all stay calm and keep a level head throughout these challenging times. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me. Fraternally, Gary J. Masino President/Business Manager Sheet Metal Workers’ Local 19
Philadelphia Office 1301 South Columbus Boulevard, Philadelphia, PA 19147 215-952-1999
Delaware Office 911 New Road, Wilmington, DE 19805 302-999-0574
Central PA Offices 102 Windsor Ave, Hamburg, PA 19526 Harrisburg/York 717-564-9400 Reading/Allentown 610-633-6494