Letters to the Editor

Letter: Regulation changes are dangerous

The work I and my brothers and sisters in the pipe trades do every day relates directly to the safety of the public. We work on life-critical systems at hospitals and assemble potable water systems that are used by the general public.

When workers operating in these dangerous conditions are poorly trained and/or poorly supervised, people get seriously injured or killed. The Alaska Department of Labor is attempting to remove the requirement for apprenticeships in the plumbing field and change the supervision ratio from one journeyman for every apprentice to one journeyman per 10 “trainees.” What’s worse is the proposed DOL regulation changes will have no set curriculum or training required for said trainees before they can be sent to work at a job site.

In addition to the lack of curriculum and training, these trainees will receive lower pay than they would with the current regulations in place. This is a recipe for disaster and will negatively affect our state if adopted. Please reach out to the Alaska Department of Labor and tell them to stop with these attacks on time-tested apprenticeship programs for the safety of our workers and the public.

— Ben Dunham


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