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Trades curtail office access, close training centers, cancel meetings… but keep working

Construction workers on the job, March 31, 2020

Construction workers March 31, 2020 working on the I-35W bridge crossing East 31st Street in Minneapolis.

Adapted from the Minneapolis Labor Review, March 27, 2020

By Steve Share, Minneapolis Labor Review editor

MINNEAPOLIS — Minnesota Governor Tim Walz’s executive order directing workers to “stay-at-home” March 27 through April 10 exempts the construction industry.

“Construction is hazardous all the time,” commented Dan McConnell, business manager of the Minneapolis Building and Construction Trades Council. With the current COVID-19 public health crisis, “this is a new hazard,” he said.

“We need to educate ourselves. We need to take additional precautions. If we can’t do that, we shouldn’t work,” McConnell said.

While building  trades workers will be reporting to job sites, local building trades unions have canceled union meetings and have closed their training centers during the COVID-19 crisis.

In addition, many local building trades unions have stopped allowing walk-in traffic to their union offices.

Business agents are connecting with workers via phone and e-mail and they’ve also cut out job site visits, except to address special problems or concerns.

The Minnesota State Building and Construction Trades Council has posted a list of COVID-19 resources for union members. Click here for that document.






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