- COVID 19 BULLETIN
We are sharing our current communications with the Governor’s office in an effort to keep you in the loop as we await the Governor’s response. Please read the attached letters to learn about what we know right now, and what we need to know.
- We do not believe that Wabtec calling all employees back to work is in line with what Governor Wolf’s waiver allows. We have made it abundantly clear that we are not trying to hinder operations. We support the operations of Wabtec—our employer and livelihood—and the production of renewal parts to provide railroads to move life-sustaining supplies during this global pandemic.
- The Company does not have the necessary sanitizing supplies, PPE or safety protocols in place to provide a safe, sanitized properly equipped working environment. If the company proceeds with recalling employees not working on life-sustaining parts they are unnecessarily putting our members, their families and our community efforts to mitigate the spread of Covid -19 in jeopardy.
- We understand member’s concerns with returning to work and would like to give you a direct answer of how to proceed. Without proper guidance from the governor’s office, it is difficult at this time to provide that. At this point, it is a personal decision. We remind all members of Wabtec’s previous communications regarding time and attendance.
Wabtec March 12, 2020
- Effective March 13, 2020 -At Wabtec Corporation the safety of our employees is always paramount. With the rise of coronavirus disease (also referred to as COVID-19) in the United States, the Company wants to ensure that all employees feel comfortable both with coming into work or staying home if there is a risk that they will spread or contract the disease. Effective March 13, 2020 -April 12, 2020 employees who call off at least one hour before their scheduled start time will not be assessed attendance points and will not be required to use their paid time off if they choose not to. In addition, if an employee is at work and needs to leave because of they are ill the same will apply. As a reminder, the call-off number is (814)875-4000.
March 21, 2020
Representatives and members of UE Local 506 and UE Local 618 wait for answers regarding the Covid-19 business shutdown. Wabtec has communicated that they have been in discussions with Governor Wolf’s Office regarding his directive to close all non-life sustaining businesses and employees have been directed to report to work as scheduled Sunday and Monday. We have not received any further information currently on the matter from Wabtec. The company did state that they “will share such clarification from the Governors office with you once it is received”. The following press release from Governor Wolf was published yesterday regarding waivers and clarity. We are still uncertain if there have been changes since the release. We will keep you updated with any information that is provided regarding the situation. We appreciate your patience during these unprecedented times.
Harrisburg, PA – Due to the high volume of waiver requests, the Wolf Administration is delaying enforcement of Governor Tom Wolf’s order and the Secretary of Health’s order that all non-life-sustaining businesses in Pennsylvania must close their physical locations to slow the spread of COVID-19.
Per Governor Wolf’s and Dr. Levine’s orders, businesses that were non-life sustaining were ordered to close their physical locations on March 19, at 8:00 PM. This order stands, only the enforcement timing will change and become effective on Monday, March 23, at 8:00 AM.
Those businesses requesting clarification on whether they are defined as life-sustaining should check this list, email the Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) customer service resource account at email@example.com, or call 1-877-PA-HEALTH and select option 1 to reach DCED staff. For businesses that determine from the list that they are non-life sustaining, but would like to seek a waiver, there is an online waiver application.
When a business completes a waiver form, a team of professionals at DCED will review each request and respond based on the guiding principle of balancing public safety while ensuring the continued delivery of critical infrastructure services and functions. Those requesting a waiver will be notified via email if their operations may re-open. Businesses applying for a waiver must remain closed until a decision is made about their application.
DCED offers working capital loans that could be of assistance to businesses impacted by COVID-19. Resources and information will be posted to http://dced.pa.gov/resourceshttp://dced.pa.gov/resources as they become available. Yesterday, Governor Wolf announced the availability of low-interest loans for small businesses and eligible non-profits in all 67 counties in Pennsylvania through the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA).
For the most up-to-date information on COVID-19, Pennsylvanians should follow www.governor.pa.govwww.governor.pa.gov and www.doh.pa.gov.
The PA Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) has established a new resource account where businesses and staff can submit questions on exemptions to the closure of physical locations for non-life-sustaining businesses in the Commonwealth.
Questions about exemptions may be sent to: firstname.lastname@example.org@pa.gov
At least initially, the e-mail address will be used to expedite answers to whether businesses on the non-life-sustaining list of closures are exempt and may continue to operate. Other exemption questions are, however, welcome.
For more COVID-19 business information, DCED has set up a web site that continually will be updated as information becomes available: https://dced.pa.gov/resources/
Please distribute to members and have them inquire .