Massachusetts Building Trades Council Votes Unanimously to Call for a Statewide Suspension of All Regular Activity at Construction Sites in Massachusetts
On Wednesday April 1, the Executive Board of the 75,000 member Massachusetts Building Trades Council voted unanimously to call on Massachusetts Governor Charles Baker to declare a statewide suspension of all regular activity at construction sites in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts beginning Friday April 3rd and continuing through April 30th.
The vote was unanimous among the statewide council, including among Local unions representing workers from the Berkshires to Cape Cod. The council is advocating that the only work the government should permit to move forward should be emergency and certain essential work:
That emergency and essential work includes:
- Emergency utility, road or building work, such as gas leaks, water leaks and sinkholes
- New utility connections to occupied buildings
- Mandated building or utility work
- Work at public health facilities, healthcare facilities, shelters, including temporary shelters and other facilities that support vulnerable populations
- Work which ensures the reliability of the transportation network, and
- Other work necessary to render occupied residential buildings fully habitable.
Additional emergency/essential construction projects may be added on a case-by-case basis after joint review and approval by state and local officials.
“The Council reached this decision after exhaustive consultation with public and private health experts, union contractors, union officials, construction industry partners, training directors and conversations with our members,” said Francis X. Callahan, President of the Massachusetts Building Trades Council. “All point to the only decision that can be made. The only way to protect the health and safety of our members, their families and of the general public is to keep people apart. It is impractical and, in many cases, impossible to safely work on a construction project right now given the current state of affairs. For these reasons we are calling on the government to issue a statewide suspension of all regular activity at construction sites in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts from April 3rd through April 30th. In the meantime, we are working around the clock with industry stakeholders and public health experts to develop best practices and new safety protocols to ensure the safest worksites possible for the emergency and essential projects that need to continue, and for all projects when it becomes feasible to return.”
The Massachusetts Building Trades Council (MBTC) is a 100-year-old organization dedicated to helping working people improve their quality of life. We are comprised of 74 member locals representing over 75,000 working men and women across the state.
Through the efforts of MBTC member unions, our members receive the best training available, vital healthcare coverage, and the security of pension and annuity benefits.
Employers benefit through joint investments between labor and management in training current and future employees. This joint effort between contractors and our member unions benefits customers because with trained workers, the job is done right the first time.
For the unions represented by the MBTC our goal has always been, and continues to be, improving the standard of living for construction workers and their families throughout the state. By achieving this goal, everyone benefits including our members, employers, customers and most importantly, the communities where we live and work.