In North Dakota, we joke there are two seasons, winter and construction. With the unprecedented situation brought on by the covid-19, people in construction are looking for certainty. The transition to construction season has started. What happens if projects are delayed, or worse canceled? Are workers able to extend unemployment? Will they be eligible at all in ND? Jason Ehlert, President of the ND State Building & Construction Trades Council joined me March 17th on KFGO to discuss.
Though there have not been any announced delays or canceled projects, it is a rapidly evolving situation. Across the country, people are asked to stay home and avoid gatherings of ten or more people. How many commercial construction projects can be done with just ten people?
LISTEN: Jason Ehlert, President of ND State Building & Construction Trade Council (March 17th)
Ehlert suggests North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum should consider following the model of Minnesota. On March 16th, MN Governor Tim Walz issued an executive order on unemployment in the state. Drastic changes were needed for MN workers as businesses were asked to close and employees sent home.
It is important to remember, these decisions are out of employees’ hands. Hell, in some areas they’re out of the business owner’s hands. We are facing a global pandemic. The health crisis needs drastic measures to flatten the curve for our health care system. These actions are leading to an economic crisis that demand equally drastic measures for our financial well being. Making sure people receive assistance to cross the financial bridge is important. Decisive action from leaders and certainty for workers are necessary. We’re all in this together.