Brothers and Sisters,
Right now, IUPAT members in the thousands are finding themselves out of work due to COVID-19, or the coronavirus. We know that our members are some of the hardest hit, with uncertainty about their current economic status and their future ability to care for their families.
What we know so far:
- Tradeshow industry has been shut down
- San Francisco and Surrounding counties are on lock down
- Boston construction is shut down
- New York construction is slowing down with the potential to escalate to a shutdown
- All Disney World construction workers have been laid off
- Los Angeles Unified School District considering shut down
- The casino and hospitality industry has all been shut down
- The state of Washington is experiencing high levels of construction shutdowns
In times of fear and confusion, we fight with union solidarity. The full force and effort of our entire union is behind how to best address this crisis. In this moment, we must ensure that our members’ interests are being fought for both in Congress and at the state level. Within our union, I will continue to convene meetings with local leadership to discuss these impacts and take action. Over the next couple days, our union will be rolling out information, updates and resources for dealing with this growing crisis. Now is the time for solidarity and thinking about one another.
The majority of our membership are hourly wage earners and unlike some industries, construction and finishing trades workers don’t get paid leave – if we don’t work, we don’t get paid. Those in our industry are at the forefront of this outbreak, as we have workers in every sector considered to be high-risk.
Brothers and sisters, now is the time to stand up, stand together
and show the true power of IUPAT solidarity.
-Ken Rigmaiden, IUPAT General President