Message From the Business Manager Re: COVID-19 and Ratification

Sisters and Brothers,
A little over a week has past since the Governor declared a state wide “Stay at home” order. The Local has been working round the clock to ensure little to no disruption at the Hall for our members during these uncertain times while still maintaining the CDC’s guidelines. Every IBEW member has the ability to choose whether they continue to work or not depending on their own personal health or that of their family or other personal circumstances such as living with elderly or immune compromised relative. No member should be working who has a fever or cough or who otherwise displays symptoms of COVID-19 infection.
To ensure the safety of our members, Business agents will be visiting work sites where our membership is working. We will be emphasizing to the members and the Contractors the safety guidelines and answering questions. In addition, All members should be carrying a paid up dues receipt and be prepared to show them to any member of law enforcement who is tasked with enforcing “stay home” orders. I believe enforcement will be more strictly enforced in the days and weeks to come. I encourage our members to be cooperative with law enforcement during this global pandemic. Other states are shutting down construction in response to the crisis. As of right now, We only know of a minimum of projects shutdown in Southern California. I know that if construction can continue safely, it is essential not only for our members’ livelihood but also for the economy and critical infrastructure of the State of California that we build and maintain every day.
All members working under the Inside CBA should be getting in the mail shortly, a letter describing the changed proposals for a one year contract ratification vote on April 17th, 2020. IBEW Local 477’s Negotiations committee settle on a one year agreement($3.65 and an additional $3.20 on Zone B)and will pick negotiations back up hopefully when some of these uncertainties are resolved in the near future. As Local 477’s Business Manager, I fully endorse this one-year agreement. The Locals Executive Board fully supports this agreement and ratification also. We didn’t believe it would be in the Locals best interest to continue a lengthy negotiation with the strong possibility of our members working without a new contract and without a wage increase at the expiration of our current C.B.A. if both negotiation committees find themselves unable to agree on a lengthier agreement and with the Council of Industrial Relations (CIR) cancelling all new hearings until further notice.
I assure the membership that the Local will take every precaution available during this special called Ratification meeting to ensure the safety of our members and their families. We will have an “in person” voting and only limiting 3 members in at a time from a timeline of 8:00am -6:00pm on April 17, 2020. Allowing the negotiation committee there with the Ballot Judge and tellers to answer any possible questions a member may have before casting a vote. Always limiting the room to less than 10 people at a time per the CDC’s recommendations. Every voting booth will be sanitized between each use.
Please be safe not only for yourself but your family.
Jason Eshelman
Business Manager/Financial Secretary