Dear Brothers and Sisters,
Nothing is more important to me, President Brian Burrows and your Local 98 leadership team than the health and safety of our members and your families.
The coronavirus, also known as COVID-19, is a
growing health risk here and around the globe. I want to reassure you and your loved ones that Local 98 is on top of the situation and taking every precautionary measure to protect you and your families during this outbreak.
First, I want to reiterate these basic safety protocols that most people already know, which will limit your possible exposure to the coronavirus. Wash your hands frequently, don’t touch your face, stay home if you’re sick.
On the last point, please understand that there is plenty of work right now and for the foreseeable future. Missing work while you’re sick is no big deal because 90% of the jobs happening now will still be there for months after your return. It’s much more important that you protect yourself and your co-workers by staying home and fully
recovering from the illness.
The Centers for Disease Control advises us to watch for the following symptoms associated with the coronavirus: fever, cough and shortness of breath are the warning signs.
Your Local 98 leadership team is prepared for this outbreak, constantly monitoring and micro-managing the situation. We are installing new safety signage on all of our job sites. We are in frequent communication with area doctors and health specialists who deal with Infectious Diseases to stay abreast of breaking news and treatment options.
We are mandating the cleaning and disinfecting of all Local 98 facilities in the city and in Collegeville on a weekly basis. We are making sure that 98 members and Building Trades members are equipped with additional protections. As of today, we are installing more portable hand-wash stations and disinfectant hand-wipes and other protective resources on all job sites. We’re also micro-managing all of our social events to make sure the spaces are cleaned and sterilized.
You can also help protect yourself and your co-workers by drinking bottled water rather than using water coolers and cups that have likely been touched by others. You should refrain from shaking hands during this outbreak and instead do elbow bumps, wave or skip contact altogether. Most importantly, wash your hands often, don’t touch your face and stay home if you’re feeling sick!
We also will be sending a separate letter to all Local 98 Retirees, since the coronavirus symptoms most adversely affect the elderly. We’ll also be supplying them with any resources they need to stay healthy.
You can stay on top of the latest news and developments with the coronavirus outbreak
by frequently checking the City of Philadelphia’s special coronavirus website at:
You can also stay up to date by frequently checking the CDC’s website at:
For all Local 98 North members who have been working at the Limerick Generating Station, you need to know that discussions with Allied Power and Exelon Generation representatives strongly suggest creating additional awareness regarding the coronavirus and strict adherence to all CDC guidelines and recommendations, as the facility moves towards its all-important shutdown.
Contingency plans are being developed in the event the virus spreads into the community. Additional information will be issued through Allied Power and Exelon Generating Station. 98 North Assistant Business Manager Bob Cresswell is on top of the situation. Follow-up discussions will be held at our Building Trades Safety Committee meeting, scheduled for March 12, 2020 at 9 am in the Philadelphia Building Trades Offices.
The coronavirus outbreak is having severe impacts on business and financial markets.Some conventions due here have cancelled, but we’re working hard to fill in the gaps. Local 98 President Brian Burrows is watching our investments like a hawk while the stock market is experiencing virus-driven instability.
To all 98 members who are working as technicians in hospitals, you may be classified as emergency workers during this outbreak and be required to report to work, even if your assigned hospital is known to have admitted coronavirus patients for treatment. If you have any questions or concerns, contact Assistant Business Manager Jim Foy at 267 784 4197, Safety Coordinator Mark Lynch at 267 271 8696 or Brian Fiocca at 267-255-1912.
As we were finalizing this letter, word came down that a doctor at the King Of Prussia campus of Children’s Hospital tested positive for the coronavirus. None of our members there have been impacted, but we’re monitoring the situation closely and have already been present on-site.
Please understand, we’re not over-reacting here, but your health and safety isour top priority. Our leadership on this public health crisis will help our brothers and sisters in the Building Trades, as well. If we follow the protocols outlined in this letter and stay smart and vigilant, we will get through this public health crisisand emerge stronger and better than ever. Thank you for your urgent attention to this important message. We will continue to keep you in the loop. Call the Local 98 Business Office at 215 563 5592 with any questions or concerns.
Yours In Solidarity,
John J. Dougherty