April 23, 2020
Weekly update from EST Wayne Jennings:
EST Wayne Jennings has begun recording regular video updates to keep members informed about how COVID-19 is affecting SSMRC, our members, and their work opportunities.

If you have a question related to COVID-19 and our council and would like EST Jennings to answer it in an upcoming video message, please send it to info@southernstatesmillwrights.org or leave a message at 855-57-SSMRC (855-577-7672). EST Jennings will answer as many questions as possible during the recordings, and we will respond directly to additional questions as well.
Member Spotlight
Samuel E. Williams is a fourth-period apprentice from Local 1263 who was activated in the Georgia National Guard. An E-4 specialist with the 810 th engineering company, Williams will be working with the Georgia National Guard through May 21.
SSMRC supporting Worker Health Coverage Protection Act
SSMRC is working with labor-friendly members of Congress to promote passage of the Worker Health Coverage Protection Act. The bill would cover the full cost of COBRA premiums for workers who have been laid off, furloughed, or had their hours reduced. Click here to read more about the bill.
Take part in our Community Service Challenge for a chance to win $250
The SSMRC is launching a quarterly challenge to encourage members to volunteer in their communities. Please send us photos, descriptions, and/or videos illustrating your community service. Email them to info@southernstatesmillwrights.org. We might share these images/stories on social media and in this newsletter. Each quarter, one person who submitted their work will be rewarded with a $250 gift card and a job-site cooler and bottle set.

For ideas about assisting your community during the COVID-19 pandemic, see the community-service-opportunities item below.
100+ Brands That Are 100% Made in the USA
If you want to buy clothing, tools, furniture, household items and more that are made in the United States, this list can help.
Job-site updates
Western Region:
Local 216
  • Entergy sites are delayed.
  • Clearwater Paper Mill is not allowing any outside contractors.
  • Boyed Sanders Construction has work at Morrilton with a large outage planned in September. The company also picked up work at Twin Rivers Paper Mill and is waiting on information on a possible project in Oklahoma.
  • CR Meyer has ongoing work at Kimberly Clark in Conway, Arkansas.
  • APCom has work in progress in Redfield and Newark, Arkansas.
Local 729
  • Siemens has work at LA Station that began last week.
  • UPS has Projects at Chenier LNG Sabine Pass.
Local 2232
  • Siemens has projects at Calpine Deer Park in Texas.
  • UPS has ongoing projects at Hydrotex Bridge City and BP Texas City as well as work starting in the Freeport, Texas, area.
  • APM has ongoing work at Calpine Guadalupe Power in West Texas.
  • Siemens has ongoing work at NRG Cedar Bayou in Baytown, Texas.
Local 1421
  • GM is still adding millwrights for Central Conveyor in Arlington, Texas.
  • Siemens has projects that started in Mesquite, Texas, and Poolville, Texas.
  • Wise County Power for Siemens will be starting April 21.
  • Siemens has an ongoing project at Luminant in Sunnyvale, Texas.
Central Region:

  • Some auto manufacturing plants, which are a significant producer of man-hours within the SSMRC Central Region, have temporarily shut down production, allowing some of our partnering contractors to perform maintenance work with skeletal crews. Some of the plants have tentative dates to re-open for production the first and second week of May.
  • The Toyota/Mazda construction project in Huntsville, Alabama, is continuing as planned. However, new hiring has been delayed.
  • Bridgestone, which manufactures truck tires that are considered essential, reopened its doors for production April 13.

Power Generation
  • Southern Company and Tennessee Valley Authority have implemented contingency plans and are allowing only essential workers on site.
  • The uranium processing facility at the Y-12 National Security Complex in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, has been temporarily shut down due to COVID-19. Workers are tentatively scheduled to return on May 11.
  • Tennessee Valley Authority nuclear outages for the Watts Bar Nuclear Plant near Spring City and the Sequoyah Nuclear Plant near Soddy-Daisy have been postponed until fall.

The Tennessee Valley Authority recently instituted COVID-19 testing and temperature-check guidelines. Click below to read more.

Pulp and Paper
  • The C.R. Meyer paper mill project in Counce, Tennessee, has been postponed until further notice.

Eastern Region:
  • The UPS St. Croix job site in the U.S. Virgin Islands has postponed any new hires traveling to the island until further notice.
  • Georgia Power’s Plant Vogtle Units 3 and 4 construction project is continuing with the modifications noted below.

-A project schedule change is being implemented. RCC craft and Bechtel Field Non-Manuals will move to a five-day, 10-hour work week schedule. Work on Saturdays and Sundays will be limited scope. This schedule will continue until further notice.

-Because some employees on the Plant Vogtle Units 3&4 construction site have tested positive for COVID-19 and others are in quarantine, management has decided to implement a reduction in force to allow for better social distancing and increased efforts to control the environment on site. Management reached an agreement with the union to start by laying off those who agree to be laid off. Employees who are part of this reduction in force will be eligible for rehire ahead of others on the referral list. Click here to read more about the reduction in force.

-Individuals have the option of staying home if they feel unsafe coming to work. If a member chooses to stay home or is given a quarantine order from an offsite doctor, there is no compensation package. If an onsite doctor tells a member to quarantine, that member is given a compensation package equal to pay for 40 hours and per diem if they received it before.
COVID-19 Preparedness course available online
We encourage all SSMRC members to take the 15-minute COVID-19 Preparedness course to learn how to protect themselves and co-workers at job sites. Click here to find out how to access the course.
Online training for members Louisiana, Arkansas, Oklahoma, and Texas
The Gulf Coast Training Trust Fund is sponsoring a system of online courses for union millwrights in Louisiana, Arkansas, Oklahoma, and Texas. For apprentices, completing this coursework will be applied to your advancement.
Classes are updated regularly, but a sample list of courses includes: 
  • OSHA 30
  • Silica Hazard Awareness
  • Math for the Trades
  • Introduction to Controlling Contaminants
  • Ergonomics Familiarization
  • Silica Familiarization
Registering for the coursework is fast and simple. Get started here .
Here's how new federal programs can assist with unemployment benefits, child care, mortgage relief, and more
Check the status of your Recovery Act payment
The U.S. Internal Revenue Service has created an online tool that allows users to check the status of their economic-impact payments.

This application will give you information about:

  • Your payment status
  • Your payment type
  • Whether the IRS needs more information from you, including bank account information
Extension of expiration for TWIC Cards
The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has announced that as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the agency is extending by 180 days the expiration date of any Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC) with an expiration date between March 1, 2020 and July 31, 2020. TSA indicates that because many states and localities have imposed “stay at home” and “social distancing” measures, it has made untenable the requirement that current TWIC holders seeking to renew their credential must do so in person and only at approved enrollment sites. Click here to read more.
Let us know how COVID-19 is affecting your job, daily life, and family
Please tell us about essential work you are performing as a millwright and let us know how you and your family are doing during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Click here to learn how to share your story.
How to help your community
SSMRC offices closed through April 30;
Contact business agents via phone or email
SSMRC local offices will remain closed through April 30. Please continue to stay in touch with your business agent through the contact information below, and let him know of any COVID-19-related job changes you experience. As always, we will 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.
SSMRC business agent contact info
Eastern Region
Cliff Tucker, Local # 1000 (Florida): 813.990.9857; ctucker@ssmrc4070.org
Paul L. French, Local #2411 (Florida-Jacksonville): 904-534-925; pfrench@ssmrc4070.org
Michael Hamilton, Local # 1263 (Georgia & Carolinas): 770-883-7525; mhamilton@ssmrc4070.org
Charles Smith, Local # 1263 (Georgia & Carolinas): 704-303-2932; clsmith@ssmrc4070.org
Central Region
Clint Smith, Local #1192 (Alabama): 205-789-9299; csmith@ssmrc4070.org
Lessie Roberts, Local #1192 (Alabama): 251-454-5771; lroberts@ssmrc4070.org
William W Condon III (Tennessee-Chattanooga): 423-320-2306; wcondon@ssmrc4070.org
Steven C. Williams, Local #1554 (Tennessee-Nashville): 615-474-9696; swilliams@ssmrc4070.org
Western Region
Matthew Nowlin, Local #216 (Arkansas): 479-747-6279; mnowlin@ssmrc4070.org
Donnie Newton, Local #216 (Oklahoma): 405-365-1909; dnewton@ssmrc4070.org
Mike Hines (Mike), Local #729 (Louisiana): 713-305-5477; khines@ssmrc4070.org
Keith Branham, Local #1421 (Texas-Arlington): 682-251-6066; kbranham@ssmrc4070.org
Dwight G Murrah, Local #2232 (Texas-Houston): 281-468-1035; dmurrah@ssmrc4070.org
Victor G Sanchez, Local #2232 (Texas-Houston): 832.835.8090; vsanchez@ssmrc4070.org