Iron Workers Local 44 Business Manager Dave Baker appeared on the America’s Work Force Union Podcast to recall the times his Local successfully certified a dog and a cat to weld, and discussed the need for a more rigorous review of welding certifications to ensure public safety.
In 2014, Baker said officials at Local 44 realized there was an issue obtaining welding certifications. They were too easy to obtain, as a welded plate could be provided without anyone seeing the individual actually weld the plate. On a lark, the Local submitted a welded plate under the name of a dog, who then successfully received a welding certification. In 2016, the Union filled out an application for a cat, which also successfully received a welding certification.
He explained how the amusing scenarios revealed the need for a more rigorous welding certification process. Leaders at Local 44 are pushing for a stronger review process and have asked Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine to address the issue.
Baker also talked about the need to renovate the Brent Spence Bridge connecting Ohio and Kentucky. The bridge was designed for a traffic load of 80,000 cars per day, but regularly sees 150,000 cars per day.
He said the bridge is extremely dangerous and hopefully will soon be rehabilitated under the infrastructure bill. Wooden structures have been added to the bridge to catch collapsing concrete from hitting cars, he noted.
Listen to the entire episode to learn more about these topics: