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LiUNA

Oakville resident asks when unfair licensing test will be thrown out


To the editor:

Recently I sent a letter concerning mechanical licensing in St. Louis County to the Call that was published in the Aug. 28 edition.

In the Call's Sept. 25 edition, a well-respected HVAC union contractor and chairman of the St. Louis County Board for Mechanical Licensing, Butch Welsch, politely pointed out inaccuracies in my letter.

Mr. Welsch also explained how the unfair testing evolved for the non-union sector in St. Louis County, the reasons for the continued use of the test and his commitment to change the test if more non-union technicians fail to pass the test.

My questions is how many more will be denied the right to work — 10, 20, 30 — before the test is thrown out?

As to Mr. Welsch's offer to attend some of the meetings, I was at last month's Air Conditioning Contractors of America meeting where Mr. Welsch spoke to members and remarked that the licensing issue was not "the monster we thought it would be.''

By the groans in the room I hardly think anyone agreed with Mr. Welsch. I've attended some of the casual Board of Exam-iner's meetings on Tuesday mornings where the decisions are made as to who gets to work and who does not.

Mr. Welsch may be sincere in his duties. No matter how he explains it, the Mechanical Licensing Code in St. Louis County as written was enacted for only one purpose and that is to eliminate the non-union HVAC contractor.

Since the majority of HVAC contractors in this area are non-union, the current mechanical code will only raise prices to the consumer and hurt St. Louis County.

Dave Harster

Oakville

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