The Mechanical Insulators Labor Management Cooperative Trust Executive Director Pete Ielmini spoke with America’s Work Force Radio Podcast on May 27 to discuss banning asbestos and asbestos removal.
Ielmini first explained how the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted the insulation industry and their apprenticeship programs. He spoke about apprentices following proper distancing guidelines and wearing face masks and shields. Ielmini then spoke about their state of the art training centers allowing apprentices to learn while keeping a safe distance from each other. He then said insulators naturally follow the mask and face shield requirements, as it is standard practice in their trade to keep workers safe from asbestos.
Ielmini also spoke about the Alan Reinstein Ban Asbestos Now Act of 2019. He said on average, 12,000 to 15,000 people die each year from asbestos related disease and how change is needed. He said the bill banning asbestos will prohibit the commercial use of asbestos and eventually keep chemical companies from using the mineral. Ielmini mentioned that asbestos exposure can cause diseases such as mesothelioma, a rare and aggressive cancer that develops in the protective lining around the lungs, abdomen and heart. Ielmini said the goal is to make the use of asbestos illegal in all facets.
John Murphy, International Vice President At Large of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters spoke about multi-employer pension plans. He discussed the HEROES Act (H.R. 6800) and how it is a response to the COVID-19 pandemic and the impacts that it has had on the economy, public health, businesses and state and local governments. He then spoke about the recently passed stimulus bill, which contained the Emergency Pension Plan Relief Act and how it differs from the Butch-Lewis Act. Lastly, he spoke about how Teamsters members and other listeners can get involved to pass the legislation.