The International Union has recently received reports that an online merchant has been selling black market face masks bearing the IUOE Steam Gauge logo. These reports have been investigated by IUOE staff, and we have confirmed these reports to be accurate. Similar merchandise bearing other Building Trades Unions’ logos have been discovered as well. Our investigation of this matter has also revealed that this merchant is located outside of the United States, with the offending company most likely being located in either China or Vietnam.
Please be advised that the International Union has not provided any authorization to this merchant for the use of the Steam Gauge logo. Furthermore, we have no reason to believe that these facemasks are effective or safe for use against the COVID-19 coronavirus. It is also very possible that this scam could involve a scheme whereby payment is collected by the merchant, but the buyer never receives any goods, because the masks have never actually been manufactured.
As a general matter, the IUOE’s logo is trademark protected, and any unauthorized use is strictly prohibited. The International Union takes matters such as this one very seriously, and I have therefore directed our Legal Department to immediately take any and all appropriate and lawful measures to shut down this fraudulent operation. We want you to be aware of this scam so that you can inform your respective memberships not to purchase any of these goods. Anytime you see any merchandise for sale online (or anywhere else for that matter), which bears the IUOE’s logo, you should assume that it is unauthorized counterfeit goods, unless it is sold through the International, the ITEC, or one of our Local Unions. Finally, in the event that you encounter one of these fraudulent operations, please contact your District office.