Labor & Management Work Together to Keep Work Sites Safe and Construction Moving Forward During COVID-19 Crisis
Safety and running safe job sites are top priorities within the construction industry, with millions of dollars spent each year on personal protective equipment, stringent safety training requirements, daily inspections and other safety precautions. Therefore, area contractors and labor already have much of the infrastructure in place to help confront the current COVID-19 crisis. But there’s much more that needs to be accomplished quickly. Jointly, labor and management are doing that important work.
According to Charlie Goodwin, chair of the Associated General Contractors of Missouri Labor Policy Committee and president of Goodwin Brothers Construction Co., “Labor and management have all moved swiftly to take care of the workers, contractors and owner employees working on or near jobsites, and work is moving forward in a safe and prudent way. Constant and regular communications has helped us stay on top of the situation and implement shared best practices.”
“We’ve established a special ‘PROTECT YOURSELF. PROTECTOTHERS.’ COVID-19 online resource center where contractors and suppliers are sharing best practices,” said Leonard Toenjes,CAE, AGCMO’s president. “Contractors are following, and many, exceeding CDC and OSHA guidelines, and we’re issuing daily updates with the latest information and findings. In addition to all the hand washing, social distancing and other protections, contractors also are disinfecting gang boxes, shared tools and work spaces, and using daily safety toolbox talks to help prevent spread of the virus. Many contractors already have implemented daily signed questionnaire protocol on jobsites. Depending on the owner, some are even performing daily temperature checks.“
Toenjes added that a new “PROTECT YOURSELF. PROTECT OTHERS.”telephone hotline was added today at 314-781-2356 extension 1050 for anyone with any concerns regarding the potential safety of a job site to report concerns anonymously. “Labor and management do not want any worker to feel intimidated by a co-worker or supervisor,” added Toenjes. “Our goal is full transparency on all jobsites.”
Labor is playing an important leadership role in collaborating with management to confront COVID-19. “We’re in daily contact with contractor associations and are working closely with them to keep our workers safe and employed,” added Al Bond, executive secretary-treasurer of the St. Louis-Kansas City Carpenters Regional Council. “I am extremely proud of our workers who are leaving their families at home and showing up for work to help build many critical projects. It speaks volumes about the caliber of our people and the industry as a whole.”
John Stiffler, executive secretary/treasurer of the St.Louis Building and Construction Trades Council, observed, “I am very proud of our owners, contractors and workers right now. This is a very challenging situation which requires constant communications, monitoring and tremendous cooperation. We are fully aware that much of our construction work involves critical infrastructure for our healthcare systems,utilities, municipalities and supply chain companies that are all on the front lines and under severe duress right now. The community is counting on us to help provide the infrastructure to keep all of these companies and organizations operating during this critical time.”
For additional information, visit www.agcmo.org or contact AGCMO at 314.781.2356 or call Toll-Free at 844-60-MOAGC.
The Associated General Contractors of Missouri is the leading voice of the construction industry in Missouri, representing over 500 commercial,industrial, heavy and highway contractors, industry partners and related firms in 110 counties throughout Missouri. www.agcmo.org
Toll Free: 844-60-MOAGC
The St.Louis Building and Construction Trades Council is a reliable source of knowledge to inform the union workers themselves, families and friends of the new regulations, changes, and different Locals, as well as educate individuals on political issues that involve the workforce. stlouisbuildingconstructiontrades.org
In 1972,leaders in the St. Louis construction industry launched PRIDE of St. Louis,Inc. – the nation’s first voluntary construction labor-management organization.The PRIDE acronym defines its mission – Productivity and Responsibility Increase Development and Employment. Today Saint Louis Construction Cooperative stays strong to its original name and mission. stlouisconstructioncooperative.org/
The Laborers’ International Union of North America (LIUNA –www.liuna.org) is one of the most progressive and strongest unions in the country. Over 500,000, LIUNA is the eighth largest labor organization in America, representing a skilled and diverse workforce. Laborers are construction workers, government workers, health care providers, industrial employees, service workers, and educators. www.emldc.org
The St. Louis-Kansas City Carpenters Regional Council represents more than 20,000 members in 33 locals across Missouri, Kansas, and Southern Illinois. We have invested more than $250 million in redevelopment projects to create jobs. We believe in providing our contractors with the most productive and skilled workforce available, while offering the kind of advanced training and technology that gives us the competitive edge. www.carpdc.org