Last year, our industry along with the rest of the world was impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Since the beginning, the approach to dealing with the virus has changed frequently, and over a year later, we continue to see changes at the national, state, and local levels. All of our employers have adopted policies and procedures over the past year to help prevent infection from occurring while continuing to transport the materials and service the industries that form the backbone of our nation. We will do our best to update this page as we get more information about policies and procedures related to COVID-19. 

COVId-19 policies in the workplace

Each of the four employers whose workforce is represented by our local union has policies in place of varying degrees to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in the workplace. If you have concerns regarding your employer's COVID-19 policies or feel that policies are being applied unfairly, please contact us to discuss your concerns. 

US Coast Guard MSIB 02-21

On February 1st, 2021, the United States Coast Guard issued Marine Safety Information Bulletin 02-21 detailing COVID-19 Safety Requirements in the Maritime Transportation System. 

The President issued Executive Order (13998), Promoting COVID-19 Safety in Domestic and International Travel that requires masks be worn on all “public maritime vessels, including ferries” to mitigate the risk of spreading COVID-19. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued order: "Requirement for Persons to Wear Masks while on Transportation Hubs, 29JAN2021", which requires all persons traveling on all commercial vessels to wear a mask. 

This Order requires conveyance operators to use best efforts to ensure that any person on the conveyance wears a mask when boarding, disembarking, and for the duration of travel. Depending on the circumstances, best efforts may include:

  • boarding only those persons who wear masks;
  • instructing persons that Federal law requires wearing a mask on the conveyance and failure to comply constitutes a violation of Federal law;
  • monitoring persons on board the conveyance for anyone who is not wearing a mask and seeking compliance from such persons;
  • at the earliest opportunity, disembarking any person who refuses to comply;
  • providing persons with prominent and adequate notice to facilitate awareness and compliance of the requirement of this Order to wear a mask; best practices may include, if feasible, advanced notifications on digital platforms, such as on apps, websites, or email; posted signage in multiple languages with illustrations; printing the requirement on transit tickets, or other methods as appropriate. 
CDC Guidelines for maritime

The Centers for Disease Control has published extensive recommendations for the maritime industry in order to prevent the spread of COVID-19. You can read more about these guidelines by clicking here

USW COvid-19 resources

United Steelworkers put together a webpage with a library of information containing relevant information about COVID-19 safety for workers including PPE information, at-work safety practices, and resources for workers laid-off as a result of the pandemic. Click here to learn more about COVID-19 from United Steelworkers.