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Although Utah is already about the most "occupationally licensed state" in the union, now comes Rep. Eddie Mayne (D-West Valley City and chief state mogul with the AFL-CIO) with a proposal for the unions to tie up the sheet-metal craft with an occupational license. Although Utah is a "right-to-work" state, the various unions already control who can get a license to engage in most building trade occupations. Mayne would add one more.

If you don't think that is the case, take a look at the current licensure of journeymen electricians. Every state that borders on Idaho, except Utah, has reciprocity with Idaho. A person can work in Wendover, Nev., on an Idaho license, but he/she must have a Utah license to cross the border to work for a contractor who serves both sides. The Idaho electrical board has tried in vain to get Utah to enter into a reciprocity agreement.If Mayne's bill is successful, the union will not only control which current residents can qualify to do sheet-metal work, but will also make certain that no highly qualified sheet-metal worker can cross Utah's sacred boundaries and work in the state.

Have you ever wondered why Micron's labor costs have been so high and why Micron had to cut back? Is it possible that none of its Idaho electricians could come to Utah to work on the project and only Utah licensees could get that double overtime of upwards of $40 per hour?

Howard A. Matthews