Letter from EST Geiger about District Council Office Staff Working Remotely and COVID-19 Measures

03.17.2020 jwatson

Brothers and Sisters,

During this time of extreme caution and uncertainty, The New York City and Vicinity District Council of Carpenters is taking every step necessary to act in the best interest of our membership and keep them and their families, staff, and the general public safe, while sharing updates as they progress.

As a life-long resident of the tri-state region, I have never experienced anything quite like this. Furthermore, our country and the world has never seen anything like this. We’re all working at a quick clip to ensure stability in times of upheaval. It is daunting, yet, we are Union Strong, and we will prevail.

Since the escalation of the virus, we initiated a contingency plan, which is currently in effect. While we do not have answers for every question or concern at this point, we will work our best to respond and alleviate concerns during this stressful time.

As of today, here are some important updates we would like to share with you:

Job Sites

  • Currently, there have been relatively few job site closures throughout New York City, but we anticipate that as the Center for Disease Control, the World Health Organization, and local health authorities, as well as our elected officials, instate additional precautions to contain and prevent the rapid spread COVID-19, more projects may be shut be down.
  • We are working with contractors to maintain continued work at our job sites. ** Should it be needed, please be advised that New York State is waiving the 7-Day waiting period for Unemployment Insurance benefits for people who are out of work due to Coronavirus (COVID-19) closures or quarantine. **

Union Operations

  • The District Council offices at 395 Hudson Street, New York, NY 10014, is suspending normal office operations effective Wednesday, March 18, 2020 for the duration of 10 business days (until Wednesday, April 1, 2020). However, while our physical office is closed, please be assured that we will continue to service the membership through remote operations and functions. Following the 2-week time period, the District Council will evaluate the situation to see how to most effectively and efficiently move forward, while adhering to public health mandates.
  • The Out of Work List (212-366-3330) will be operating remotely between the hours of 8am – 4 pm. Please be mindful that we will be operating under extraordinary conditions and depending on call volume, wait times may be longer than normal.
  • The District Council phone line (212-366 -7500) will remain open during regular business hours for members, however please contact your Business Agent with specific questions.
  • The District Council created a COVID-19 information page for updates. Please click the COVID-19 UPDATES link at the top of the website. It can also be found here.
  • Currently, only Locals 45, 157, and 2287 have cancelled their upcoming meetings. Please contact your Business Agent, your Local, or check the District Council website for updates about other meetings.

The Benefit Funds

  • The New York City District Council Benefit Funds office will be suspending normal operations at 395 Hudson Street, New York, NY 10014, effective March 18, 2020 for two weeks. However, while the physical office is closed, please be assured that the Funds will continue to service the membership through remote operations and functions. For more information from the Benefit Funds about the closure, please contact the Benefit Funds here.
  • The Welfare Fund is waiving co-payments for COVID-19 testing for current members and their families, as well as retirees. For more info, click here.

Civil Service Carpenters

  • All Civil Service Carpenters are deemed essential employees and should report to work. Please follow your respective city agency for updated guidance regarding COVID-19.
  • The General Civil Service Meeting for all Civil Service Carpenters, Dockbuilders, Ship Carpenters, and Riggers scheduled.


  • The International Training Center cancelled all programs, training, and conferences scheduled at the International Training Center for the next 30-days.
  • New York City District Council of Carpenters Training Center (CTC) postponed all class schedules for 2-weeks, effective March 16, 2020. Members may take classes online with recognized accredited organizations during the time of school closure and will be reimbursed by the Carpenters Training Center with original receipts of course completion reflecting the dates between March 16 – 29, 2020. Only courses on the CTC website will be reimbursed. Please refer to the CTC website here.
  • The CTC has postponed the 51st Annual Graduating Apprentice Exhibits and Open-House scheduled for April 7, 2020.

Looking Forward

  • The events of the past few weeks have been unprecedented. It is important that everyone continues to act with compassion toward one another and work together to help each other through times of need. The NYC District Council is here to continue to support and serve the membership in the best way possible. Together, we have weathered greater storms. We rebuilt this city after 9/11 and I am confident we will rebuild again.
  • We also want to encourage any members who are experiencing symptoms or are exposed, to please consider the health and safety of your fellow brothers and sisters and those who are more at risk and stay home from work. As carpenters, we tend to pride ourselves on working through everything – rain, snow, illness – but this is not the time to do so. Take precaution, stay healthy, and stay safe. Your families and your union need you.
  • For more information about the Coronavirus (COVID-19) and how to keep yourself and your family safe from infection, you can get the latest from the Center for Disease Control (CDC).

View Official Letter



Joseph A. Geiger
Executive Secretary-Treasurer