Sisters and Brothers,
As we navigate our way through these very difficult and trying times, please remember the most important things in our life....the health and well-being of our family and our ability to provide for our loved ones. This pandemic sucks. The virus is scary; self isolation and social distancing have only added to the anxiety level because we aren't in our comfort zone and don't know when things will return to normal. We are also very blessed. As our country reaches unemployment numbers unheard of since the great depression, we remain a vital and crucial resource. The generation, transmission and distribution of electricity keeps our world turning, even at this much slower pace.
That said, I'd like to address an issue that I've recently been made aware of. As you know, the Company has made mandatory the use of masks in areas where people will be 6' or closer for more than 3 minutes...this includes the trucks. This is a safety rule and must be followed...even if you disagree with it. Article VII, Section 8(A) says, "Where not specifically covered by this agreement, the Company Safety Rules shall govern the work." Furthermore, Article VII, Section 8(A)2 says, "It is agreed that the establishment and enforcement of safety rules and regulations, the responsibility under the Occupational Safety and Health Act and the provision of a safe work place are management’s exclusive responsibility." The Union will not and cannot condone a willful disregard for safety. As a matter of fact, the IBEW was formed principally on the basis of safety and holding the utilities accountable for keeping our members safe.
In this instance, the Company has implemented a safety rule which follows the recommendation of the CDC. The rule is reasonable and was established with the safety of employees in mind. Please don't willfully disregard this safety rule just to prove a point. It may not end well.
Thank you and please continue to work safely and be your brother's and sister's keeper.