Coronavirus forcing some technicians off U.S. cell towers
Some tower companies have been forced to pull their work crews off the job due to the ongoing pandemic.
Further, some tower technicians are asking for personal protective equipment (PPE) like masks and face shields to avoid further spreading the COVID-19 virus. They’re also arguing that they should receive hazard pay as they travel to and work on 4G and 5G cell towers.
“We need to get carriers to show support for companies providing services by providing PPE that is needed in this COVID19 environment,” wrote one unnamed tower company executive in a survey commissioned by NATE, a trade association that represents cell tower companies. “Compensation should also be hazard pay in a pandemic and not business as usual.”
NATE said it surveyed 224 member companies with headquarters in 40 different states from Friday, March 27 to Wednesday, April 1, and found that around 50 of those companies reported they pulled at least one tower crew from the field due to the new coronavirus.
“We had to move crews from California to the East Coast,” wrote one unnamed executive. “We had to pull one crew out of our three crews total from the field,” wrote another.
The findings are noteworthy considering most executives in the wireless industry have publicly complained of only delays in receiving permits for cell tower installations or upgrades from cities due to COVID-19.
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