The COVID-19 pandemic has posed significant and unprecedented challenges to our industry. Please be assured that SMART and SMACNA are actively monitoring health and industry updates in order to protect the safety and health of our employers, members, and families.
Both SMART and SMACNA understand that this is a highly complex and evolving situation that requires a flexible and common-sense approach to all the issues presented. Labor and management are equally concerned with keeping everyone in our industry safe and healthy, while also recognizing that the critical work performed by our signatory contractors, members and employees needs to continue with as little disruption as possible.
Because of the great variations in the severity of the outbreak, there is no “one size fits all” approach to the issues faced locally. We are encouraged by, and proud of, the cooperative approach taken by many of our local unions and contractor associations to address their unique local situations. It is critical that SMART local unions and SMACNA chapters continue to meet and work together to address concerns as they arise. We encourage parties to share the steps taken and agreements made that may be valuable to other areas addressing similar issues.
Federal and state authorities are issuing guidelines and orders that will dictate many of our actions. However, as individuals, we must assess our own risk factors for health, family and community safety and act accordingly. Employers must take the necessary steps to ensure the health and safety of the workplace and should rely upon guidance from the CDC, DOL, OSHA, EEOC and state and local governments as those steps are taken.
In addition, the local parties should closely analyze and take advantage of federal, state, and local legislation providing all forms of relief and assistance to individuals and employers so that our industry can recover as rapidly as possible. Both SMACNA and SMART will continue to provide information and analysis to facilitate utilization of these programs.
Our collective hard work at the Partners in Progress Conference and through this pandemic will be the solid foundation that we will work from in the coming weeks. Our strong labor-management partnership will serve us well during this unprecedented and uncertain time.
If SMART and SMACNA can provide any assistance to you during this time of crisis, please do not hesitate to reach out to either of us. Most importantly, we hope that you and your families are safe and healthy.
Joseph Sellers, Jr.
SMART General President
Angela Simon, P.E.
Click to view a PDF of the joint statement issued by SMART and SMACNA.