National Grid is jeopardizing the safety of our communities by locking out 1,100 of its most experienced employees who are critical to ensuring safe and quality gas work in Massachusetts.

April 28th 1971, Congress passed the Occupational Safety and Health Act promising every worker the right to a safe job. Every year on this date we observe Worker’s Memorial Day. This day is to remember those who have died, been injured or made ill by their work.  It is also a day to reinvigorate all of us in our never-ending campaign to return safely home to the ones who love us the most.

As the uncertainty of this unprecedented pandemic continues, we are facing new and challenging situations within our plant. The Company has informed us they are implementing a plantwide Labor Grade 1 pool per their LMP of regressed Employees (a little over 200) from identified departments who, by seniority, could not retain a position in their home department as a result of reduced operations. These Employees were canvassed by management and will be used to fill temporary vacancies throughout the Plant as needed and dis-place non-core contractors as possible by seniority within the pool.

As you are aware, we did not reach an agreement for a LMP.  The Company has implemented their plan which includes a VLO.  The Union did NOT agree to the rules placed within this voluntary layoff and we disagree with the Company’s interpretation of our Sub-pay language outlined in our BLA. We will be challenging it through the grievance procedure.  

While negotiations of a Layoff Minimization Plan are ongoing, we have submitted our Layoff Minimization Plan to the Company. Unfortunately, the Company has chosen to implement their LMP without a Union agreement in place. The Company has stated business conditions have brought them to this decision. We will continue to keep lines of communication open with Management to discuss the LMP and other issues.

Today I met with the Company regarding the current state of our industry and how Burns Harbor fits into it. One of the main topics was the need to reduce the workforce to parallel production needs. The Union and Company are discussing the need for a Layoff Minimization Plan, although we have not agreed to one yet. We have made it clear to the Company that we are committed to adhering to the LMP language outlined in Article 8 of our Basic Labor Agreement. We have requested the necessary information we will need from the Company to move forward in this very important process.  

As COVID-19 continues to sweep our nation, new questions are being asked in regards to the actions in place to ensure we have the safest work place possible.

In response to this unprecedented pandemic, we have reached out to our Congressman as well as the Company to express our position on the current situation in our Plant.

As the coronavirus continues to spread, we understand you may have concerns about accessing prescription medications, especially if you or your loved ones have a chronic or complex condition. We are partnering with CVS Caremark to take steps to protect member access to medication and we encourage you to refill maintenance medications with a 90-day supply or up to the plan maximum.

Please read the recent memo released by our Plant Manager Jean Louis:

March 23, 2020

From: Jean Louis Muller, Vice President and General Manager, ArcelorMittal Burns Harbor

To: All Burns Harbor employees

Subject: Coronavirus and “stay at home” order information

First and foremost, my thoughts are with you and your families during these unprecedented times. I am writing you today to provide updates on the rapidly evolving COVID-19 outbreak and what it means for you as a Burns Harbor employee.