1 min read

Season 4, Episode 127

Disparity in men and women safety equipment creates jobsite problems



Guest Name:

Pete Ielmini

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Pete Ielmini, the Executive Director for the Mechanical Insulators Labor Management Cooperative Trust joined the America’s Work Force Union Podcast to talk about purchasing safety equipment for females and how it compares to men’s safety equipment. Ielmini also talked about the progress of the Federal Mechanical Insulation Act and dispelled myths about the proposed legislation.

The LMCT has been at the forefront of diversity and inclusion in the trades. Recently, Ielmini experienced problems when he attempted to buy safety equipment for women, in this case, work boots. He found that the disparity between the men’s and women’s boots was significant. There were only two worksite-approved selections for women, while there were 121 options for men. After more research, Ielmini found similar issues across the entire spectrum of women-specific safety equipment. He believes this must be addressed as more women join the construction trades. Otherwise, they will be forced to settle for ill-fitting men’s equipment, greatly increasing jobsite problems.

Ielmini also discussed recent conversations with legislators about the Federal Mechanical Insulation Act. The biggest concern centered on the bill’s requirement that all workers on federal projects must have completed a registered apprenticeship program. Many of the legislators voiced their concern of favoring unions with this requirement. However, Ielmini explained the requirement favors neither union nor non-union, it is something that the federal government asked to be included.

The apprenticeship program requirement is one of the biggest issues for most people, as they believe apprenticeship programs are something only unions do. Any contractor can have their own apprenticeship program, with accredited instructors. Unfortunately, many non-union contractors don’t want to invest the money required to run an apprenticeship program. He also dispelled rumors of encouraging an out-of-town workforce, but he reassured many legislators that the workers would need to come from the local communities.

Listen to the entire episode to learn more.


America’s Work Force is the only daily labor podcast in the US and has been on the air since 1993, supplying listeners with useful, relevant input into their daily lives through fact-finding features, in-depth interviews, informative news segments and practical consumer reports. America’s Work Force is committed to providing an accessible venue in which America's workers and their families can hear discussion on important, relevant topics such as employment, healthcare, legislative action, labor-management relations, corporate practices, finances, local and national politics, consumer reports and labor issues.

America’s Work Force Union Podcast is brought to you in part by our sponsors: AFL-CIO, American Federation of Government Employees, American Federation of Musicians Local 4, American Alliance for Manufacturing, Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield, Columbus/Central Ohio Building and Construction Trades Council, Communication Workers of America, International Association of Heat and Frost Insulators and Allied Workers, International Association of Heat and Frost Insulators and Allied Workers Local 50, International Brotherhood of Teamsters, International Federation of Professional and Technical Engineers, International Union of Bricklayers and Allied Crafts, International Union of Painters and Allied Trades District Council 6, Ironworkers Great Lakes District Council, The Labor Citizen newspaper, Laborers International Union of The National Labor Office of Blue Cross and Blue Shield, North America, North Coast Area Labor Federation, Ohio Federation of Teachers, Survey and Ballot Systems, United Labor Agency, United Steelworkers.


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