Approximately two years ago the Call covered the mechanical licensing issue commonly known as "The Pipefitters Protection Act.''
This St. Louis County legislation essentially was designed to exclude all non-union contractors and employees from performing heating and air conditioning repair and replacement in St. Louis County.
Due to public pressure, Buzz Westfall had to change the language that supposedly would permit non-union companies to perform this work.
However, those changes required those who met the qualifications to take a test before a license was awarded. Buzz and the Pipefitters aren't stupid.
They designed three tests; one for the union sheet-metal workers, one for union Pipefitters and one for all the non-union contractors.
The union tests are both open book tests and many have passed these tests and received their licenses. The non-union test is closed book. No one in the past two years has passed the test and no new licenses have been awarded.
Somehow it doesn't sound fair to all those enrolled in heating and air conditioning classes at our local trade schools.
They pay the tuition, get good grades and graduate only to find they are denied the right to work.
The whole licensing issue as with other special-interest legislation continues to choke St. Louis County growth.