COVID-19 Update

March 19, 2020

Re: Covid-19 update

Dear Sisters and Brothers:

First and foremost, I want to thank each one of our members who have stepped up for our communities and continued to work in these unprecedented conditions.  I hope all of you and your families remain safe and healthy.  We appreciate you, and you are showing your value to the communities we serve.

Our members provide essential services, and the public needs you now more than ever.  This is exactly why government agencies declared our work essential.  Garbage and recycling piling up on the streets, or a failed infrastructure, would only compound the current health crisis.

We have been speaking directly with Shop Stewards and members to address any immediate safety concerns in the workplace.  Local 350 is also having daily discussions with employers to try to resolve these concerns as quickly as possible.  Employers have indicated to us that they have ordered supplies, but they are facing the same problems as all of us; many supplies are on backorder and/or prioritized for healthcare workers.  We will continue to monitor the status of such supplies

We encourage our members to follow the recommended guidelines and precautionary measures as much as possible while working.  This situation remains very fluid, and information changes day by day, sometimes hour by hour.  We are staying as informed as possible and will update members accordingly.

Many businesses are shutting down completely or suffering dramatic economic loss due to a lack of income.  Even the solid waste industry is experiencing an economic impact due to the lack of commercial material.  Workers in many industries are being laid off or sent home without pay during the shelter in place order.  We are trying to prevent this from happening to our members.  The health, safety, and financial well-being of our members and their families are of paramount importance to us.

These are our priorities for Local 350 members:

  • Ensuring that companies are doing everything in their power to protect our members and their families from exposure to Covid-19.
  • Ensuring that all our members continue working.
  • Protecting the income of our members.
  • Ensuring that members will not have to use all their paid time off to manage Covid-19 related absences.
  • Attempting to secure additional compensation for working during the shelter in place order. We are exploring different options and in discussions with employers.

As always, Local 350 will continue to fight for our members.  We want to hear from members about their concerns, so please feel free to contact us.  We appreciate your support, and we are extremely proud to represent you all.

In Solidarity,

John Bouchard