July 30, 2020
August local union meetings taking place with COVID-19 precautions
Attending your local union meeting helps keep you informed about issues affecting work opportunities and allows you to observe leaders, share ideas, learn from fellow members, build community, and more. Meetings are taking place with social-distancing and mask requirements due to COVID-19. Click the button below to see a schedule of monthly local union meetings.
Electric torque tools arriving at training centers
Lithium-battery-operated electric torque tools have begun arriving at training centers in our district. The SSMRC purchased the tools, along with s even HYTORC hydraulic bolting kits, for training centers across the council’s 11-state district.
SSMRC millwrights and contractor MHS get a 1.1 million-square-foot UPS distribution center back on track after taking over the project from a non-union contractor.
When a non-union contractor fell behind on a $200 million project at a United Parcel Service regional hub spanning more than 1.1 million square feet in Arlington, Texas, Millwright Local 1421 helped turn around the job in time for the facility to process essential supplies for health-care workers at the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis.

“I could not be prouder of the millwrights on this project," said Wayne Jennings, executive secretary treasurer of the Southern States Millwright Regional Council. "They have truly shown that the Southern States Millwrights are safe, productive, and professional. I personally thank everyone on the project for their commitment to excellence.”

Read more about the ongoing project here.
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.
–Jeff Smith, Central Region Director
Local 1192:
  • Toyota Mazda in Huntsville, Alabama, is getting underway and will continue to hire over the next couple of months. Please make sure to have your OSHA 10, forklift, and aerial-lift certifications. Riggers and welders will be in high demand as well.
  • The Washington County Cogen power plant will have an outage this coming fall.
  • Plant Daniels is preparing for an outage in September. 
  • Power generation is looking to be busy. Outages will begin on Sept. 1.

Local 1554:
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Nissan in Smyrna, Tennessee, has an outage scheduled for Aug. 15.
  • Bridgestone will not be doing its Labor Day outage for 2020, but continuing its daily maintenance.
Western Region
Local 216:
The Nucor project in Blytheville, Arkansas, has kicked off and ramped up on manpower. We have ongoing work at Holly Frontier in Oklahoma that is in need of strong pump rebuild and alignment millwrights. We also just wrapped up a project in Inola, Oklahoma, at the Solfidel Paper facility.
Local 729:
Local 729 just kicked off a project at Dolon Hills with Siemens, and a project at Nine Mile Nuclear Plant is coming up in September. Work at Waterford Nuclear Generating Station is about 45 days away from kick off.
Local 1421:
A project at DFW airport is ongoing, and other small projects are in the near future. We will be working with contractors to bid work at the newly announced Tesla facility to be built in Austin.
Local 2232:
There is still long-term, ongoing work at Toyota in San Antonio. We have contractors bidding a new steel mill in the Corpus Christie area. That project could kick off towards the end of the year.
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.
  • The Plant Vogtle Units 3 & 4 project is continuing with 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.
Nuclear Division
Several weeks before the “official” beginning of the fall outage season, a few things have changed. Vogtle has drastically reduced its work scope. Manpower requirements dropped from 72 millwrights to seven. The cancelled work from this outage season was pushed into the fall 2021 outage. Viewed from a positive standpoint, this change will greatly increase the length of the fall 2021 outage and the corresponding manpower needs.

Including the Vogtle outage, seven outages are on the fall 2020 schedule. Although I consider this a moderate season for the SSMRC Nuclear Office, it will be one of the toughest to man because all the outages except for Vogtle are in October. As I mentioned in my last update, the possibility of any member working two outages under the current outage schedule is slim (if the schedules and/or work scopes remain the same). There are rumors and internal discussions about reducing work scope at some plants. In addition to reducing manpower requirements, such changes have the potential to shorten project length.

Employers and I are currently loading the list and confirming members to work the outages. Please review the table of outages below. We are somewhat concerned about a shortage of available millwrights. The total manpower requirement is 5 42.
– David Bonds, nuclear representative
First aid: Controlling bleeding after an injury
While safety is the No. 1 priority for UBC millwrights, accidents can occur on jobsites where our members work. If an injured person is bleeding, it's vital for co-workers to know how to slow or stop the blood loss before emergency personnel arrive. Here are some bleeding-control basics:

Know the ABCs of bleeding control. “A” stands for “alert” – call for help if you can. “B” means “bleeding” – find the source. “C” is for “compress” – use direct pressure or a tourniquet, if needed.

Put on a pair of latex or vinyl gloves contained in a first-aid kit or bleeding-control kit before rendering aid.

Use the cleanest cloth available to apply steady pressure to the wound. First-aid and bleeding-control kits contain clean cloths, but you can use a shirt, bandana, etc., if a kit isn't available.

Do not let up when applying pressure directly to a wound. You must exert pressure for at least five minutes for clotting to begin.

Use a tourniquet when direct pressure does not control severe limb bleeding . When using a tourniquet or improvised tourniquet , place it two to three inches above the wound. Do not put a tourniquet directly over knees or elbows because the bones protecting arteries and veins will prevent it from being effective. Tighten the tourniquet until bleeding stops.

Review this one-page flyer with three simple actions for stopping bleeding.
Tips for cutting costs and saving more
For decades, studies have shown most Americans do not save enough to reach their short- or long-term goals or even to handle a relatively minor emergency expense. The Federal Reserve reports 40% of Americans don't have $400 to cover an unexpected bill.

Fortunately, there are some simple ways to start saving, even during a pandemic. Focus on your top expenses, don't aim for perfection, and automate your saving as much as possible, says personal finance guru Ramit Sethi. Read more in this Business Insider article.
Two coronavirus-related aid packages competing on Capitol Hill
With enhanced unemployment payments set to expire tomorrow, the next round of federal aid related to the COVID-19 pandemic will likely be the result of a compromise between two bills that have been introduced in Congress. Senate Republicans released a $1 trillion bill Monday, and Democrats in the House of Representatives unveiled a $3 trillion bill in May.

Both bills would grant another round of stimulus checks to individuals and families, but they differ in how much would be awarded for dependents. Read more about stimulus-check differences in the bills here.

The Senate plan proposes cutting supplemental unemployment benefits to $200 weekly from $600 until states are able to create a system that would provide 70% of a laid-off worker’s previous pay. The House plan would maintain the $600-per-week payments through January.

Read more about differences in the two plans here.
State-wide mask orders in effect in Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, North Carolina, and Texas
As of July 30, five states in the SSMRC's district Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, North Carolina, and Texas are requiring face coverings in public places. Keep in mind city and county orders are affecting many areas as well.

On Wednesday, Gov. Kay Ivey extended the statewide mask order until Aug. 31 at 5 p.m. Learn more here.

Gov. Asa Hutchinson issued an order effective July 20 that requires face coverings to be worn in public statewide. Read the order here.

A statewide mask mandate took effect on July 13. Parishes with low numbers of COVID-19 cases can opt out. Read about 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, through at least Aug. 7. Read more here.

The Texas mask order went into effect July 3. 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.

Learn more about about mask orders and other COVID-19-related restrictions in the South here.
Air conditioning could be increasing COVID-19 spread in the South
Air conditioning use across the southern United States might be a factor in spiking COVID-19 cases, and ultraviolet lights used to sterilize the air of TB bacteria could be a solution, a Harvard infectious-disease expert said during a recent online presentation.

Though COVID-19 transmission has been thought to transmit mainly through large droplets expelled during coughing, sneezing, or talking, evidence has risen that some cases occur via airborne transmission, which happens when virus particles contained in smaller droplets hang in the air and drift on currents.

“As people go indoors in hot weather and the rebreathed air fraction goes up, the risk of infection is quite dramatic,” said Edward Nardell, professor of medicine and of global health and social medicine at Harvard Medical School.

Read more 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.
2020 State Ballot Measures
Click the button below to see descriptions of ballot measures that are being considered for your state this November.
Vote this fall!
All Americans have a constitutional right to vote. Below are steps to take now to make sure your voice is heard in November. If you are not comfortable voting in person this year, you likely can vote via absentee ballot. See details below.

Verify your voter registration.
Make sure you’re registered to vote at your current address. If you’ve moved, changed your name, or haven’t voted in a while, you might need to re-register to vote.
If you aren't registered to vote, register now.
You can register at Vote.gov by clicking the button below, or you can register in person at your state or local election office. You might also be able to register at a motor vehicle department or armed forces recruitment centers. Check with the specific location first. Learn more about voter registration at www.usa.gov/register-to-vote .
If you aren't comfortable voting in person, apply for an absentee ballot.
Voting by absentee ballot is safe and secure. Each state has its own rules about who can vote absentee, but many states have expanded eligibility because of the coronavirus . Applying for an absentee ballot at vote.org/absentee-ballot takes only 2 minutes.
Sign up to receive legislative-action texts
The SSMRC has begun 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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