Using livestreaming, texting and apps to keep members up-to-date
With a stay-at-home order preventing them from having regular meetings at their union hall, 2000 Market Street in St. Louis, Bricklayers Union Local 1/Tile Setters Local 18 has begun live streaming on Facebook Live to keep in touch with their members during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Business Representative Mark Savage said several other Locals around the country live stream regularly – UFCW Local 655 has been livestreaming with members for about a year – but this was a first for BAC-ADC Local 1.
“It was officially not a meeting, but could grow into that if the quarantine keeps up,” Savage said. “We got great feedback. Members were happy to see it, and we had recommendations to do it more often, as soon as information becomes available.”
Savage credited office secretary Amy Dickey with getting it all set up.
“As information changes, we are looking to do it once a month, unless something drastic happens within the next 30 days.”
One recent change is the disbursement of vacation funds. Payments are normally distributed yearly each November but will be distributed earlier and on two dates this year in response to the pandemic.
TEXTING AND APPS
The union also is keeping information up-to-date on its website (BACSTL.com) and reaching out to members with a texting program.
To sign on, members need only text MOADC to 877877 and reply with their union card numbers.
More and more, staying in touch requires using new technology.
“I don’t know if we’re caught up, but we’re making efforts to not be left in the dust,” Savage said.
Members can access their retirement funds, view their investments and see information on their years of service using the BACMobile app. The app is available in the Apple App Store or through Google Play.