RE: ORDER 20200324-007
Dear Mayor Adler:
We, Austin Carpenters Local Union 1266 and our 400 members in Austin, are writing to you regarding the COVID 19 Stay-Home order that prohibits commercial construction that is not considered “Critical Infrastructure.”
We express our support to you Mayor Adler, and the City Council, in your efforts to battle COVID-19 and to keep Austin a safe, healthy place to live and work. Our members, too, want to “flatten the curve” of the COVID-19 infection. Like you, we are concerned about the health of our families and fellow citizens.
We request that you and other Austin City decision-makers deem all types of commercial construction activities “Critical Infrastructure” and exempt commercial construction from any shelter‐in‐place/stay home directives or similar orders that might be deemed necessary. It is our belief that this economic activity can help alleviate the economic effects of this crisis and prepare us for coming out of it.
We believe that as local government agencies seek to implement their own continuation of operation plans, it may be necessary for building inspectors and other construction-related professionals to be exempt from shelter‐in‐place directives. In addition, we ask that all units of government continue their efforts to ensure that construction projects continue in Austin. Doing so may require the use of electronic systems for permitting and plan review, creative approaches to inspections, and other innovation.
Members of the Carpenters Local Union 1266 appreciate the gravity of the situation and thank you for the efforts of you and other leaders that are necessary to keep every Austinite safe. With the low-risk nature of construction related to the COVID-19 virus and our industry’s heavy emphasis on worker safety, we urge you to recognize all commercial construction as a “Critical Infrastructure” that should be continued during this time in support of our state’s resiliency efforts.