July 16, 2020
Russellville, Arkansas, training center to re-open Monday, July 20
The Russellville Training Center re-opens on Monday, July 20. The following COVID-19 guidelines must be followed for entry into the facility:
  • Completing the COVID-19 questionnaire
  • Temperature checks daily
  • Social distancing in the training center
  • Hand washing/sanitizing
  • Masks worn at all times
AFL-AGC Health & Welfare office in Mobile, Alabama, to be closed on Wednesdays
Due to a staff member's exposure to COVID-19, the AFL-AGC Health & Welfare office in Mobile, Alabama, is adjusting its office operations. On a rotating basis, one staff member will operate the office on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays. The office will be closed on Wednesdays. When they are not manning the office, staff members will work remotely Monday-Friday.
Central Region
Here in the Central Region, our July outages went well and finished strong. We are going to be busy within the automotive and power-generation industries this coming fall. If you are available for work, please put yourself on the out-of-work list and reach out to your respective business representative. As always, join your local union meetings to hear the latest jobsite updates and opportunities.
Local 1192:
  • The Washington County Cogen power plant will have an outage this coming fall.
  • The Plant Watson outage was just completed with no issues. 
  • Plant Daniels is preparing for an outage in September. 
  • Nissan in Canton, Mississippi, has resumed work.
  • Toyota Mazda in Huntsville, Alabama, is getting underway and will continue to hire over the next couple of months. LG Fox is anticipated to be hiring at the Toyota Mazda project towards the end of this month.
  • Power generation is looking to be busy. Outages will begin Sept. 1.

Local 1554:
  • Bridgestone plants are resuming work.
  • At GM in Springhill, things are slow but expected to pick up.
  • Vi-Jon in Smyrna, Tennessee, has an outage scheduled for the end of July.
  • An outage at Dicaperl in Nashville, Tennessee, is ongoing. 
  • Nissan in Smyrna, Tennessee, has an outage scheduled for August 15.
  • TVA is still on track for fall outages. COVID-19 has changed processes and PPE requirements at most jobsites, and TVA is currently allowing only essential employees onsite.
  • Bridgestone Morrison just completed its 4th of July shut down; all went well.
Western Region
Local 216:
We have ongoing work with several pulp-and-paper projects at Kimberly Clark and Georgia Pacific facilities in Oklahoma. We also have ongoing work at the Goodyear facility in Oklahoma as well as a small APM project in Jenks.
We are still ramping up manpower at the Nucor expansion in Arkansas. We also have some work at Green Bay Packaging in Morrilton coming up. There is an upcoming pulp-and-paper project with Kimberly Clark, and APCom has ongoing work at Newark and Redfield.
Local 729:
We are operating around 50% on petro-chem maintenance projects. We’ve had a few turbine projects kick off with Siemens and Turbine Pros. Turner will have some work later this month or in early August as well.
Local 1421:
We just finished one project at Owens Corning, and another is about to kick off. We’ve covered some emergent work with Siemens over the past week as well. Work at GM has slowed down, and we are starting to see work across the jurisdiction slow down.
Local 2232:
The outage at Toyota in San Antonio is ongoing. Between several employers and projects, Local 2232 has had nearly 200 millwrights on the site. There is upcoming work at Chevron facilities in Pasadena and Baytown and at Flint Hills in the Corpus Christie area.
Eastern Region
Local 1000:
  • We need people experienced in compressors in St. Croix.
  • The Turkey Point Nuclear Plant outage is coming up.
  • Western Industrial is working on a DHL project.
  • Preferred Maintenance has a small shut down at SAPPA.
  • Work with Walbridge at the Amazon facility is ongoing.
  • There is airport work in Ft. Lauderdale, Tampa, Orlando, and Miami.
  • GCI and Central Maintenance have work at the Big Bend outage.
  • Siemens is working at Sanford.
Local 1263:
  • Cleveland has expansion at Toyo Tire in Cartersville, Georgia, at the end of July.
  • We will be rebuilding the cooling towers at plant Hatch.
  • There will be new equipment installation for an electric-cable manufacturer in Goose Creek.
  • SRS is going to begin a plutonium pit project sometime soon.
  • More than 65 members are working with Western Industrial at FedEx Ground in Ellenwood, Georgia, and we will start another FedEx Ground job with Western Industrial in Kennesaw, Georgia, on July 6.
  • CR Meyer is working at First Quality in Anderson, South Carolina.
  • RCC and TurbinePROs are at Georgia Power’s Plant Vogtle Units 3 and 4 construction project. The job is continuing with the precautions noted below due to COVID-19 cases among workers.
Additional information for Vogtle workers:
Local 2411:
  • We have an outage at Rayonier Paper coming up.
  • Refurbishment work at Kings Bay Submarine Base is upcoming.
  • WW Gay is at US Gypsum, GP Perry, Rayonier and GP Palatka and at Duke Energy in Gainesville.
  • Milton J Wood is finishing up at US Gypsum, International Paper Port Wentworth, and GP Palatka.
  • Coker Industrial is at Columbia Grain and WestRock in Fernandina and Jacksonville and at Rayonier in Fernandina.
  • APM has small outages at JEA energy Stations.
  • Siemens is finishing a generator replacement at Gainesville Regional Utilities in Deerhaven.
Unit at Plant Scherer to close
photo courtesy Georgia Power
Unit 4 at Plant Scherer, the largest coal-fired power plant in the United States in terms of generation capacity, will be retired by 2022 under an agreement reached between co-owners Florida Power & Light and Jacksonville Electric Authority. Members of the SSMRC have worked at Plant Scherer, near Macon, Georgia. Read more.
Protect your back
Back disorders are one of the leading causes of disability for people in their working years, according to OSHA. Back injuries account for one of every five injuries and illnesses in the workplace, and 80% of these injuries are associated with manual material-handling tasks, Bureau of Labor Statistics data show. Here are some tips for protecting your back:

Use mechanical aids whenever possible.  Instead of trying to lift or carry a heavy object, use a wheelbarrow, conveyor belt, crane or forklift.

Use proper lifting techniques.  If you do need to pick up and carry a heavy object, keep the load close to your body, your back straight, and lift with your thigh muscles.

Avoid stooping or twisting.  Use ergonomically designed tools and equipment, and arrange your work area so that everything you need is within easy reach.

Read more tips for protecting your back here .
How to get a good night's sleep
Lack of sleep impairs concentration, productivity, and the immune system, and can lead to high blood pressure, stroke, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and mental health issues . For millwrights performing dangerous work, not getting enough sleep is also a safety hazard.

Stress often leads to difficulty sleeping, so it's no surprise a growing number of Americans have been reporting trouble sleeping since the COVID-19 pandemic began. Click here to read the Sleep Foundation's guidelines for getting a good night's rest during a pandemic and here to read additional tips for sleeping better.
Tips for managing or paying off credit-card debt
Whatever your financial goals, paying off credit-card debt is a step in the right direction. If you or your spouse are out of work or are working fewer hours because of the pandemic, just keeping up with payments and avoiding adding to your credit-card debt could be a victory.

Click here to read tips and strategies for paying off credit-card debt. Read about coronavirus-related credit-card debt relief options here, and click here for tips on avoiding additional credit-card debt.
17 states expanding unemployment benefits
Due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, 17 states so far are extending unemployment benefits. See details by state here.
COVID-19 Preparedness course required for entering most training centers
The Carpenters International Training Fund has developed a qualification to educate members on methods to better protect themselves while on jobsites. The new COVID-19 Preparedness Qualification online course covers rules and procedures outlined in a March 20, 2020, OSHA guideline document, and most training centers in the Southern District require members to complete the course before entering the centers. Click here to learn how to access the course.
State-wide mask orders announced in Alabama, Texas, and North Carolina
As of July 15, three states in SSMRC's district -- Alabama, Texas, and North Carolina -- are requiring face coverings in public places. See details about each state's order below and learn which states nationwide are requiring masks here. Keep in mind city and county orders are affecting many areas as well. See the map below for additional information about your state's status and restrictions.

On July 15, Gov. Kay Ivey issued her 14th supplemental emergency proclamation containing an amended Safer at Home Order that includes a statewide mask requirement. Individuals will be required to wear a mask or other facial covering when in public and in close contact with other people, as described in the order. The amended order goes into effect July 16 at 5 p.m. and expires July 31 at 5 p.m. Learn more here.

The Texas mask order went into effect July 3. It immediately applied to all Texas counties, but counties with 20 or fewer active cases can be exempted if they opt out. The executive order is set to remain in effect until modified, amended, rescinded, or superseded by the governor. Read the order here.

North Carolina:
On July 14, North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper announced the state will remain in the “Safer at Home” Phase 2 of reopening, which includes a mask order, for at least another three weeks. The announcement extends the order through at least Aug. 7. Residents are required to wear face masks in public places, indoors or outdoors, where physical distancing of 6 feet from those outside their households isn’t possible. Read more here.

See guidance on wearing and caring for cloth face coverings here.

Click the map for additional information about your state's status and restrictions.
Louisiana provides $250 COVID-19 hazard pay to front-line workers
On July 13, the Louisiana Department of Revenue announced it will offer one-time hazard pay rebates of $250 to front-line workers. While millwrights are not likely to qualify under covered job categories, you can pass along this information bulletin to friends or family members who might qualify.
COVID-19 travel restrictions
If you are planning to travel for work or vacation, it's important to be aware of COVID-19-related travel restrictions. Eleven states currently have restrictions on interstate travel. Check them out here.
Check out COVID-19 risks in your county
The Harvard Global Health Institute has released a tool that allows you to see a COVID-19 risk rating of green, yellow, orange, or red for the county where you live. Click the map above, then hover over a county for detailed information.
Coronavirus cases rising in most states
COVID-19 cases are increasing sharply in many states the Southern States Millwright Regional Council covers. Click here to learn more about case numbers, deaths, and the rate of increase in your state.
Sign up to receive legislative-action texts
The SSMRC will soon begin sending communications related to pro-union legislative action. The SSMRC forms partnerships to help pass labor-friendly laws and give council representatives access to the table to discuss how our members could be assets to major projects. Our council also supports pro-union candidates (from both political parties) running for state, county, and local offices.

Some labor issues we discuss with candidates and legislators include right-to-work laws, health and welfare benefits, unemployment-insurance programs, prevailing wages, workers’ compensation, workplace safety, tax fraud in relation to construction projects, and apprenticeship standards.

To stay informed regarding legislation and elections that could affect workers' rights and union job opportunities, please text CIVICS to 877-62-SSMRC (877-627-7672).
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