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March 20, 2020 – Coronavirus Update from Kevin Graney

Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont announced today that by Executive Order all nonessential businesses in CT are required to keep their workers at home.  At his press conference this afternoon, Governor Lamont reiterated a message we have heard from the White House and the Department of Defense – Electric Boat and our suppliers (including those building our new facilities) are essential businesses, critical to our nation’s security. As such, we have a special responsibility to continue our important work.  I spoke with Governor Lamont this afternoon, and he fully supports the measures we are taking to protect our employees while continuing operations.

As of this writing, Gov. Gina Raimondo has not made a similar announcement in Rhode Island.

There continue to be no confirmed cases of COVID-19 at EB.  As this situation develops, we are evolving our approaches to keeping you and your colleagues safe while we continue operations. We have put in place several new measures to enable better social distancing, including:

  • Staggering lunchtime use of the Groton Wet Dock Cafeteria by directorate for first shift
  • Ensuring all Operations employees have adequate space to keep several feet of distance during briefings and musterings
  • Terminating all large, all-hands meetings
  • Reviewing of all work areas by General Foreman and Area Superintendents to ensure that we limit the number of employees in each space at any given time
  • Continuing increased cleaning throughout the facilities and shipboard
  • Adding a second shift at the New London facility to help decrease density in that building
  • Developing alternative strategies for organizing work within the Operations teams to minimize the risk that a single exposure could affect an entire work group. We will communicate more as these strategies are finalized.
  • Encouraging teams to maximize use of existing policies and collective bargaining agreements that allow people to work flexibly where possible.  This could include temporarily flexing shift start and stop time, temporarily changing shifts, utilizing flexible work schedules and working on weekends when work is available.
    • In response to the need for many of our colleagues who may not have accrued sufficient PTO to respond to school closings and related schedule disruptions, during this crisis we will now allow all employees (hourly, salaried and represented) to accrue up to 80 hours of negative PTO that can be recouped by the end of 2020.  This benefit has not been available prior to our hourly workforce and increases the current limit of 40 hours of negative PTO.  This is in sync with other GD business units.

We are each personally responsible for stopping the spread and ensuring the safety of our co-workers, friends and families.  Towards this goal, please take time each day to ask yourself the following questions. If you can answer yes to any, do not leave your house:

  • Have you had close personal contact, as defined below, with anyone who has been diagnosed with COVID-19 (lab or clinical diagnosis)?
    • Within six feet for prolonged period (~10 minutes)
    • In a confined space (cab, small room, office, etc.)
    • Had direct contact with infectious secretions (been coughed, sneezed on, etc.)
  • Are you experiencing any symptoms? Fever? Chills? Cough? Sore throat? Shortness of breath? Body aches?

If you answer YES to any of the above questions, please get the proper care, stay home to protect your teammates and your community, and contact your supervisor.

Thank you for your continued patience and flexibility as we move through this challenging time together.

Kevin Graney

 

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