I have received several inquiries into the Oregon Work Share Program recently. This program is a long-standing program through Oregon unemployment to assist those workers receiving reduced hours. To date, of the four major elevator companies, I have signed applications for two of them. Note: The state requires the unions signature on the application filled out by the employer. It is kind of a lot of paperwork so the first company to sign on may have employees starting to receive payments, or they should be close. I signed the agreement for the second company this week so it will likely be a while before payments start. The good news is I am told it can be retroactive.
The link below has a great deal of info:
This program specifically helps cover the lost hours for the week. For mechanics working 32 hours (short 20 percent) they would receive 20 percent of the weekly Oregon unemployment benefit. I just found out recently that if a member works 32 hours, they should qualify for up to $129.60 from the state plus the entire $600 federal CARES match on top of that each week for a total of up to $729.60.
Please note that the program requires the company to apply and submit hours worked for employees who qualify for the week. Once the company application is approved the employees will need to complete some paperwork as well. I was also told that a self-insured business will not have to reimburse the state for the amount they would normally have to pay which is a cost savings for our major companies.
The following link give answers to common questions regarding this program:
From information I received I feel that this is a great program to backfill for lost hours. This is a longtime program in Oregon which companies have used to retain employees during slow times of the year. It sounds as if some other industries have used it seasonally for many years.
It is a great way to soften the blow from the reduced pay and participating companies believe they will have a much stronger workforce coming out of this by having this program in place.
Business Manager, Local 23
International Union of Elevator Constructors