March 27, 2020
Local union offices closed till April 6; Staff working remotely
EST Wayne Jennings has mandated the closure of all local union offices until April 6, 2020. At that time, we will determine next steps. We will continue to provide all forms of service and support to our members. For locals that do not have an online dues payment system in place, a staff member will go into the office one or two days a week to process dues payments. Local leaders will inform members of scheduled operation days.
Communicate with local agents via email and phone
Please use the contact information below to get in touch with your local representative. If you must visit an office to pay dues, please practice social distancing of 6 feet or more and wash your hands or complete hand sanitization upon entering and exiting the building.
Inform your union representative of COVID-19-related job changes
Let your local union rep know if jobs are delayed or cancelled due to COVID-19 concerns. See below for further guidance on steps to take if your employment is affected.
SSMRC business agent contact info
Eastern Region
Cliff Tucker, Local # 1000 (Florida): 813.990.9857;
Paul L. French, Local #2411 (Florida-Jacksonville): 904-534-925;
Michael Hamilton, Local # 1263 (Georgia & Carolinas): 770-883-7525;
Charles Smith, Local # 1263 (Georgia & Carolinas): 704-303-2932;
Central Region
Clint Smith, Local #1192 (Alabama): 205-789-9299;
Lessie Roberts, Local #1192 (Alabama): 251-454-5771;
William W Condon III (Tennessee-Chattanooga): 423-320-2306;
Steven C. Williams, Local #1554 (Tennessee-Nashville): 615-474-9696;
Western Region
Matthew Nowlin, Local #216 (Arkansas): 479-747-6279;
Donnie Newton, Local #216 (Oklahoma): 405-365-1909;
Mike Hines (Mike), Local #729 (Louisiana): 713-305-5477;
Keith Branham, Local #1421 (Texas-Arlington): 682-251-6066;
Dwight G Murrah, Local #2232 (Texas-Houston): 281-468-1035;
Victor G Sanchez, Local #2232 (Texas-Houston): 832.835.8090;
Training Qualification/Certification Credentials Extended
Because local training classes and sessions at the Carpenters International Training Center are temporarily suspended, the Carpenters International Training Fund is extending qualification and certification credentials run through CITF for up to 90 days for members whose credentials are set to expire during the closures. This will allow affected members to remain on job sites. The extension includes rigging and building envelope certifications. CITF will monitor the situation and reevaluate every 30 days. If you have questions or concerns regarding the extensions, contact your business agent or training department.
SSMRC Regional Updates
Western Region – While work has slowed down significantly in some areas, it is picking up in others, and we need members to get on the available-for-work list if they aren't employed. Dallas County and Harris County in Texas are under shelter-in-place orders, and several other Texas cities and counties are facing similar orders. However, unless otherwise notified, members are allowed to leave their homes to work on our partners’ job sites. 
Eastern Region – Georgia's governor issued a shelter-in-place order March 23 for groups with “increased risk of complications” from COVID-19, and Atlanta's mayor has issued a citywide shelter-in-place order for all residents. (Click the link to the map below to see other affected areas of our region.) Members can still report to our partners’ job sites. The UPS St. Croix job site has postponed any new hires traveling to the island until further notice. The following information regarding Georgia Power’s Plant Vogtle Units 3 and 4 project was released March 24:
Through a voluntary program beginning later this week, if you self-identify with a high-risk condition, you may be offered certain precautions or paid leave after a review of your request. You will not be forced to leave the site or stop working because you self-identified.
Electric utilities and construction projects, such as the construction of Vogtle 3&4, are exempt from Georgia’s shelter-in-place order. The expanded on-site medical clinic in the main craft parking lot will is open to all badged Vogtle 3&4 team members as of March 24. It is open 24/7 and staffed with medical professionals who can administer tests for illnesses such as flu, strep, and COVID-19, if necessary.
Central Region – Members, contractors, and owners are having to operate outside of our everyday operations. Contractors and owners are making adjustments to maintain services while also trying to keep crews and workers’ loved ones at home safe. The central region is seeing some temporary plant closures and temporary layoffs. The Toyota/Mazda project in Huntsville, Alabama, is still underway. Toyota, Blue Springs, Nissan, Canton, GM, Honda, and Bridgestone have shut down production temporarily. Southern Company has implemented contingency plans and crews in response to the pandemic. Some upcoming power-generation projects are being pushed to the fall.
Birmingham, Alabama, is under a shelter-in-place ordinance until April 3. Tuscaloosa, Alabama, Mayor Walt Maddox issued a curfew (10 p.m. until 5 a.m.) that will be in effect through April 3. Nashville, Tennessee, Mayor John Cooper announced a “Safer At Home” order for Nashville residents lasting through April 6. Memphis, Knox County, Sumner County, and Chattanooga also are under safer-at-home orders. See the link to the map below for up-to-date state and local orders. Members are allowed to report to our partners’ job sites.
Click here for a map showing which states and cities are under shelter-in-place or safer-at-home orders.
Job Sites Note: We expect contractors and owners to make changes and requests to address the COVID-19 situation and safeguard their projects and facilities. Our Council and UBC will review these requests, provide guidance on how to respond, and communicate information to affected members.

What shelter-in-place and safer-at-home orders mean
Please consult the specific order(s) in place in your area, but, in general, these orders mean you should:

  • Stay home (stay unexposed and do not expose others) except to report to your essential job (you can report to our partners’ job sites unless otherwise notified), buy food, and seek medical care

  • Stay at least 6 feet away from others

  • Don’t gather in groups
State Unemployment Benefits Updates
Several states in our region are changing their unemployment rules regarding waiting periods, job searches, etc. Click here to see updates from each state (alphabetically) as of March 23 at 10 a.m. Central Time.
What to do if you have lost your job due to COVID-19
If your job has ended or you have been laid off because of COVID-19, immediately contact your business representative. If there are no additional opportunities for employment through your union, then file for unemployment benefits as soon as possible. On March 18, President Trump signed into law a bill that expands unemployment benefits.
The resources below can help you begin the unemployment application process.

Training Centers Update  
  • Carpenters International Training Center – Training programs at the ITC in Las Vegas have been cancelled through the end of May. Program leaders hope to hold sessions scheduled for June 1 and onward. Please cancel any flights needed to attend programs before June 1. Send questions to Amy McCarron, program director for the UBC Department of Education and Training, at or 702-667-2326.

  • Gulf Coast Carpenters and Millwrights TTF (Texas and Louisiana) – Classes are cancelled at training centers in Texas and Louisiana until April 10. Center directors will reassess the situation April 2.

  • Arkansas/Oklahoma Carpenters Apprenticeship and Training – All training centers are temporarily closed. Every two weeks, directors are assessing the possibility of re-opening.

  • Mid-South Carpenters Regional Council TTF (Mississippi, Alabama, Tennessee), Southeastern Carpenters TTF (Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina), and Florida Carpenters TTF – Training center directors are observing CDC and state infection-control guidelines have suspended classes until further notice.

Please contact your  local training center for detailed policies and procedures.

How to recognize coronavirus scams
Scammers are taking advantage of COVID-19-related fear and misinformation. Here are some tips to help keep malicious actors at bay:

  • If you get an email from anyone (including people you know) that seems off and includes an attachment or link, don’t open the attachment or follow the link. Call the sender to verify the email is legitimate. Do not call the number in the email signature; an impersonator could have changed it. If the information in the email sounds too good to be true, it probably is. If the CDC or another health organization had a free vaccine, you would hear about it on the news, not in an email attachment. Learn more here.

  • Ignore online offers for vaccinations and home-test kits. There currently are no vaccines, pills, potions, lotions, lozenges, prescriptions, or over-the-counter products available to treat or cure COVID-19 — online or in stores. At this time, there also are no FDA-authorized home test kits for the Coronavirus. Visit the FDA to learn more.

  • Know who you’re buying from. Online sellers may claim to have in-demand products, like cleaning, household, and health and medical supplies when, in fact, they don’t.

Are you helping other members or your community?
If you or a millwright you know is assisting your community, retired members, contractors, or facility owners in relation to COVID-19, please let us know. Helpful actions include taking food to retired members, organizing a drive to gather N-95 masks from job sites and take them to hospitals, and more. Keep your business agent and our communications director, Olivia McMurrey (, updated.

Learn about the Families First Coronavirus Response Act
On March 18, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act was signed into law in the United States, and it gives new benefits to many workers whose families have been affected by the COVID-19 crisis.

Effective April 1, employees who cannot work or telework are quarantined due to a suspected COVID-19 infection, or because they were in contact with someone who has COVID-19, may be eligible for two weeks of paid sick leave from their employer. They may also be eligible for paid sick leave if they are forced to miss work and cannot telecommute in order to care for someone in their household who is sick, quarantined, or unable to attend school or daycare because it has been closed.

Click here to read more from the UBC’s analysis of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act.

Common symptoms of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)
COVID-19 symptoms include fever, cough, and shortness of breath and may appear 2-14 days after exposure. Learn more at the CDC’s COVID-19 Symptoms page.
What to do if you have symptoms
  • Stay home if you are sick.

  • If you develop symptoms during the workday, ask to leave and then contact your Council representative as soon as possible.

  • If you or someone in your household has a fever, cough, or shortness of breath and has not been diagnosed with a particular illness, check with your supervisor before going to work.

  • If there is a case of COVID-19 at your child’s school or child-care facility or at your partner’s workplace, alert your supervisor and Council representative.

  • If any staff or staff family member is diagnosed with COVID-19, we will work with local, state, and federal agencies to follow containment procedures.
How to protect yourself, your family, and your community
Currently, no vaccine exists to prevent COVID-19. The best way to prevent the illness and avoid spreading it is to reduce exposure risks. Please follow these guidelines from the CDC:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.

  • If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry.

  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.

  • Practice social distancing, which means avoiding large gatherings and adhering to spacing recommendations (put at least 6 feet between yourself and others, when possible). This is especially important for people who are at higher risk of getting very sick.

  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze or use the inside of your elbow.

  • Throw used tissues in the trash.

  • Wear a facemask if you are sick

  • If you are sick: You should wear a facemask when you are around other people (e.g., sharing a room or vehicle) and before you enter a healthcare provider’s office.

  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily. This includes tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets, and sinks.

Additional resources
  • U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:

State health departments:

  • Tennessee Department of Health: