LOCAL 1108, SUFFOLK COUNTY LEGISLATORS, WIN NEW SAFETY MEASURES FOR WORKERS
The Suffolk County Legislature voted unanimously on December 17th to make the county’s streets safer by passing IR1742, a new law requiring eight hours of rest after on-call emergency assignments for Utility Location Workers.
“The hard working men and women who provide utility location services do a vital job that keep our communities safe,” said CWA Local 1108 Executive Vice President Michael Gendron (pictured above testifying before the County Legislature). “Many times they must answer emergency on call assignments that have them working throughout the evening and early mornings. They should not have to work their next scheduled tour after working overnight because that puts them and the general public in harm's way.”
Utility safety workers, responsible for locating and marking utility mains during construction, are expected to work regular shifts as well as respond to emergency situations. Before IR1742, workers who work an emergency shift were required to attend their next regularly scheduled shift, resulting in workers being forced to cover long shifts on as little as two hours of sleep and putting both workers and the general public at risk of accidents due to sleep deprivation.
Local 1108 was a key advocate behind the new law, bringing it to the attention of Suffolk County Deputy Presiding Officer Rob Calarco and testifying on the vital need to protect workers’ rest time in order to make their jobs and the community safer.