Greetings everyone, I hope you and your families are doing well, and staying safe & healthy during the Covid-19 crisis. I am sending good wishes to you all. A lot has gone on since my last post. On a good note, the contractors have and will continue to place manpower request into dispatch regarding upcoming outages. I realize our members have unfortunately felt the hit on their pocketbooks this year, due to the pandemic and the price of oil. These calls will begin to put some of our members back to work which is a big plus. We have also been in talks with our signatory contractors at IPPL. Our goal is not only to have our members on site at IPPL, but we are hopeful our meetings will be able to increase our numbers overall on that site.
Due to the Covid-19 pandemic and being fiscally responsible to you our members, the local made the difficult decision to change the temporary layoffs of some administrative staff to permanent layoffs. This decision was not made lightly, but again being fiscally responsible for our organization, and our members, tough decisions must be made. Our plan moving forward indicates with lower revenue coming in, financial responsibilities and fiscal restraints is a must.
Regarding LOU’s, MOU’s and contracts, the recent number of these that have been signed and implemented over the past month, deal with Covid-19 and the present price of oil. Both items were unforeseen, oil was in the negative, which was a first for me, as well as Covid-19 which is also a first. What is most important to Local 488, is to keep a standard ofliving with benefits and a wage package that our members can live a comfortable life with, while allowing our contractors to obtain work. This is the reason for our LOU’s, and MOU’s.
As for the Fab Shop negotiations, they have begun, and we are in the early stages at this point. Regarding the ICI, it was posted earlier that negotiations were paused due to Covid-19, the latest information I was provided with, is that talks will resume in early June. We will be continuing to promote Local 488’s Standard for Excellence and ask all members to continue to work to these standards, as it is a huge bargaining chip for negotiations with the contractors.
Local 488 is in the process of developing a plan to re-open our building. The first step in the plan is to increase the hours of our office staff, and time spent in the building. Discussions have begun in possibly opening the weld shop as well as the pipeline yard so our welders can practice. As much as we want to open, our members, officers and staff Affiliated with A.FL.-C.1.0., Building and Construction Trades Department, Metal Trades Department, Union Label Trades Department, C.L.C. safety is paramount, we will not re-open until all our bases are covered to insure everyone’s safety.
In closing I would like to thank the job stewards, officers and staff who are doing a great job in these unprecedented times, and to our membership for their understanding of the present situation.