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Director Ielmini talks Federal Mechanical Insulation Act and Construction Safety Week

Insulators Labor Management Cooperative Trust Executive Director Pete Ielmini made his monthly appearance on The America’s Work Force Union Podcast and provided an update on the Federal Mechanical Insulation Act and Construction Safety Week. 

Ielmini started the podcast by talking about the NABTU Legislative Conference taking place this week and credited President Biden for everything he has done that has benefited union labor. 

“The construction trades right now are booming,” Ielmini said. “We have a lot of projects that are currently being worked on and we have a lot of massive projects coming up in the future, mainly because of the actions of President Biden.” 

The new chip and manufacturing plants under construction, as well as numerous infrastructure projects, will have a significant impact on the trades over the next 10 years. 

“Some of the discussions that we’re having here with the building trades are how we’re going to manage the labor when all of these projects get up and running,” Ielmini said. “We are still trying to encourage more people to get involved in the building trades.”

Ielmini then talked about the importance of building trade members being able to sit down with their elected representatives while they are in D.C. for the conference and speak about  the important issues in their industry.

“It’s an important process in gathering support and a co-sponsor from a congressman or congresswoman,” Ielmini said. “Our lobbying team does a wonderful job of making the connections and giving me the opportunity to educate the congressman and congresswoman on the importance of mechanical insulation.”

Currently, there are 42 cosponsors for the Federal Mechanical Insulation Act, but Ielmini is hopeful that the list will be at 60 in the next few weeks. The more cosponsors the bill gets, the better chance it has of passing.

“We really want to overwhelm the representatives with the bipartisan support,” Ielmini said. “We have our Democratic friends supporting us and we have been making new friends with the Republicans.”

Ielmini said there has not been any pushback from any of the representatives, Democrat or Republican, and the LMCT has to look at passing legislation that is good for business and good for our communities.

“This is what the Federal Mechanical Insulation Act is able to do,” Ielmini said. “I’m looking forward to bringing our union leaders up to Capitol Hill, it really is a fun event and it's an educational process that I wish more people could experience.”

Construction Safety Week 

Ielmini and AWF host Ed “Flash” Ferenc ended the interview by talking about Construction Safety Week, which is two weeks away. 

Ielmini and Ferenc compared the safety procedures from the 80s and now and how construction workers are much safer today. 

“There is always room for improvement when it comes to safety, health and construction,” Iemlini said. “Safety was one of the two founding principles of the formation of the unions over 150 years ago.”

The LMCT believes everyone should be able to work in a safe environment on construction job sites. 

“Unfortunately, we’re still having fatal accidents, but the numbers continue to decrease,” Ielmini said. “Together with our employers and OSHA regulations, the construction field is safer than it ever has been before.”

Ielmini added that it is important to also focus on mental health and making sure that workers are given the opportunities to safely work both physically and mentally. 

“We also have to look at mental wellness and make sure that construction workers have a clear head when they’re working in the field,” Ielmini said. “We’re putting a lot of effort into mental well-being and that all has to be included in our progression of construction safety.”

Listen to the full interview here: