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PRESIDENT’S STATEMENT IN RESPONSE TO CORONAVIRUS PANDEMICE

April 14, 2020

 

 

 

 

To the Members of NOITU:

  

 

On behalf of the entire NOITU Organization, I want to first express my heartfelt sympathy to all who are affected directly or indirectly by this disease. Whether it is a friend, family member, co-worker or someone else, many of us know at least one person who has had to deal with the effects this virus has caused, especially within the Tristate area. Our thoughts are with those who are currently fighting this virus and we wish them a full and speedy recovery. For those members who have lost a loved one, our condolences are with you and your family during this difficult time. Finally, I want to acknowledge and thank the courageous efforts of our healthcare workers and other essential employees who are on the frontline battling this disease. These workers sacrifice their lives daily and work tirelessly to care for the needs of the public. We wish them continued success and safety in their fight to win this battle against the coronavirus.

 

 

 

As you know, the coronavirus pandemic has affected all aspects of our way of life and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future. As the country adapts to a “new normal,” I wanted to take the time to update you on how the NOITU Organization is currently approaching this unprecedented situation. As President, I want to assure you that the NOITU Organization will continue to operate as efficiently as possible given the current circumstances. The representatives of the Union continue to handle grievances and address any workplace issues you may have during this uncertain time. While they are no longer visiting shops on a monthly basis for the foreseeable future, they remain available to address your workplace concerns. In addition, staff of the Insurance Trust Fund and the Individual Account Plan continues to work remotely and in limited shifts in the office so that we can continue to handle questions regarding your health and pension benefits. I am proud to say that the transition to social distancing in the form of working remotely and in limited shifts has gone better than we could have expected, allowing for employees of the organization to continue to serve the interests of its membership.

 

 

 

Last week, we asked that you make sure that your updated contact information is on file with the NOITU Organization so that we can inform you of updates, if and when necessary. It is also important that you continue to visit this website as well for important information, updates and news related to the coronavirus.

 

 

 

NOITU has recently updated its website to include information from the Department of Labor and the Internal Revenue Service regarding two laws recently enacted by the Federal Government responding and addressing the economic impacts of the coronavirus on the citizens of this country. The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (the “FFCRA”) was enacted on March 18, 2020 and among other things, it creates emergency sick leave provisions and expands the Family and Medical Leave Act. For more information regarding the leave provisions of the FFCRA, please visit the NOITU website. There, you will find a link to the Department of Labor’s “Families First Coronavirus Response Act: Questions and Answers” for information related to the emergency leaves mentioned above.

 

 

 

On March 27, 2020, the Federal Government passed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (the “CARES Act”). The $2.2 trillion CARES Act provides additional economic relief to the citizens and small businesses of this country. In addition to increasing unemployment amounts by up to $600 and providing coronavirus testing at no cost to the recipient, a key provision of the CARES Act includes a one-time payment of $1,200 for individual tax filers who earn less than $75,000 in 2018 and $2,400 for married couples who earn less than $150,000 in 2018, plus an additional $500 per child. For more information regarding the coronavirus economic impact payment provisions of the CARES Act, please visit the NOITU website for a link to the Internal Revenue Service’s “Economic Impact Payment Information Center”.

 

 

 

 

As I close, please be advised that during this time of constant change and uncertainty, the NOITU Organization will do its best to use the NOITU website, in conjunction with text and email, to provide you with pertinent information related to these issues. On behalf of myself and the entire NOITU Organization, please stay safe and healthy during these extraordinary times.

 

 

 

 

In solidarity,

 

 

Gerard A. Jones

 

 

National President



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