Last week, the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW), representing workers in the construction and other sectors in the United States and Canada, and their employer counterpart in construction have signed the “NECA/IBEW National Disease Emergency Response Agreement”.
The National Electric Contractors Association (NECA) is a large employer organisation in the United States. It represents 70,000 electrical contracting firms employing over 650,000 electrical workers. The IBEW and NECA have a long history of negotiation and cooperation.
The agreement covers health and safety issues and precautions and worker protections connected with the COVID-19 pandemic. It will be periodically updated. IBEW and NECA are also providing extensive information on dealing with the virus as well as advice on relevant legislation. IBEW President Lonnie R. Stephenson stated, “We understand the anxiety and uncertainty all of our members and contractors are feeling right now, and we hope this agreement provides a measure of stability as we face this new reality.”
BWI General Secretary Ambet Yuson, commenting on the agreement, said, “the IBEW, in negotiating this accord, is among the many construction unions on all continents that are taking the lead by joining with employers to defend workers and the industry. This far-reaching agreement is a major step forward for construction workers.