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September 8, 2020
September 2020 Newsletter

REPORT TO THE MEMBERS

By Richard E. Dalton, Business Manager

It seems that summer was just beginning, and now it is over. September marks the start of the fall season!

Monday, September 7, 2020, is Labor Day. This is the day the United States of America picked to honor the workers who built this great country. We should be proud to have a day set aside each year to honor ourselves and our brothers and sisters in the trade movement. Labor built this country, and Labor is what keeps it strong! Be proud, and be the best you can be!

Please take a moment to remember the terrorist attack of September 11, 2001, and remember those who lost their lives to it. Now in 2020, we have a new terrorist attacking this country and the world; it is called COVID-19. Please follow the government recommendations to protect yourself and others around you.

At the time of this writing, work hours were just slightly down from the same time last year, and last year was a great year. Hopefully, this trend will continue through the fall and into the winter months. The fuel tax income from March-May during the stay-at-home order was down roughly 14 percent, but is recovering as summer travel has resumed. Fuel tax is what funds the accounts for the transportation and ODOT budget, which pays for road projects and maintenance work.

Local 18 received word in late July that the petrochemical project (cracker plant) with PTTGC and their partner Daelim Chemical in Belmont County will be set back six to nine months, as Daelim has withdrawn from the project. PTTGC stated, “the Ohio petrochemical facility continues to be a top priority for the company.” The reasons cited for the withdrawal of Daelim were the COVID-19 pandemic and the recent oil price volatility. As more develops, I will keep you informed.

The Organizing Department, under the direction of Scott Stevenson, is doing a remarkable job signing new contractors to Local 18 agreements. This year, with the pandemic and all, the organizers have signed over 30 contractors to agreements that have never been signatories before. Those 30 contractors are suppling new job opportunities to the members of Local 18. Additionally, Local 18S, the Stationary Division, has added a couple of new groups to its list of employers. An election was won with Sofidel for their boiler operators, and the Stationary Division is currently in negotiations for an agreement.

The Education and Safety Fund approved $3 million in scholarships for the 2020-2021 academic year to 924 applicants, of which 197 are for industry-related degrees. Last year, the fund paid out over $1.1 million in benefits. Congratulations to all the applicants receiving scholarship awards!

The Health and Welfare Fund was able to secure telemedicine capabilities for all of 2020, with no cost to the member using the service. As we move into the fall and winter cold and flu season, keep that in mind and save a few dollars on your health insurance deductible. Telemedicine has become the new normal for doctor visits. It’s easy and quick to use, with no waiting at the doctor’s office.

Happy Labor Day! Work safe and work smart.

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