Saying it is impossible to work safely on construction sites amid the coronavirus pandemic, a large carpenters’ union has directed all members in the US state of Massachusetts to stay away from job sites from today.
In a letter to members, Thomas J. Flynn, executive secretary-treasurer of the North Atlantic States Regional Council Of Carpenters, said that "despite their best efforts", owners and contractors have not been unable to maintain social distancing and other safety procedures on site recommended by public health officials.
"In recent days as the number of Covid-19 confirmed cases and deaths has dramatically increased, it has become apparent that working on construction sites in Massachusetts is abnormally dangerous, and that continuing to work on construction sites poses an immediate threat of harm to the health and safety of my members and the public," Flynn wrote.
The directive to strike does not apply to health facilities being built to treat people with Covid-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus.
The Massachusetts cities of Boston, Cambridge and Somerville have ordered halts on non-critical construction, but governor Charles Baker has so far resisted calls to declare a statewide suspension.
Image Â©GCR, illustration by Denis Carrier
More on Covid-19 and construction in the US:
- Nevada unions, contractors form Covid-19 watchdog group
- Union demands statewide suspension of construction in Massachusetts
- Nevada warns contractors: follow virus rules or be shut down
- ‘Do your own inspections’, Florida county tells builders after municipal team laid low by Covid-19
- New York State shuts down all but essential construction as virus cases soar
- Pennsylvania orders shut-down of all construction sites