SMACNA Urges Congress to Recognize Construction Activities as Essential
In a letter sent to the Hill today, SMACNA urged the House and Senate to explicitly recognize construction activities as essential to ensuring public health and safety during this pandemic and allow our skilled workforce to provide these services. Any federal legislation binding the states and local governments should require that all mandatory quarantine orders include an exemption for “essential infrastructure” that would allow the construction industry to provide emergency and essential services. It is extremely important that our workforce be encouraged to undertake necessary construction, operation and maintenance of a countless variety of critical facilities.
The construction industry builds and maintains critical infrastructure, including vital energy and communication systems, roads and bridges, and social infrastructure, including police, fire and health care facilities. These services are vital and must remain in operation as the Nation deals with this public health crisis. SMACNA recognizes the important steps many states and local governments are taking to stem the spread of the coronavirus, however, it is critical that quarantine orders and mandatory business closures do not inadvertently prevent the construction industry from supporting the public and medical infrastructure necessary to combat this pandemic. The impact of halting construction activities during this crisis will have a severe effect on public safety, national security, as well as our member firms and their highly skilled union workforce.