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The gender gap in construction pay is next to nothing | Letters
Here’s what readers are saying in Saturday’s letters to the editor.
Construction jobs have near pay equity for women, says the letter writer.
Construction jobs have near pay equity for women, says the letter writer.
Published Feb. 27
Updated Feb. 27

Careers in construction have near-equal pay

Pay equity for women

A recent study shows working women are experiencing the worst effects of the recession because the industries they tend to work in are hit harder by the effects of the pandemic. Five million women have lost or left their jobs in the past year. In December 2020 alone, the U.S. economy lost 140,000 jobs previously held by women. There is no better time for women to consider a career in construction, where workforce shortages are a constant concern and new talent is in demand to rebuild our economy and crumbling infrastructure.

National construction employment was only 3 percent below its pre-pandemic peak in February 2020, and in Florida, the construction unemployment rate is 1 percent. While women in the U.S. workforce earn an average of 81.1 percent of what their male counterparts make, the gender pay gap in the construction sector is almost nonexistent, with women earning an average of 99.1 percent compared to men.

In Florida, the annual salary for entry level construction workers is roughly $42,000, while experienced skilled workers are averaging over $65,000. Associated Builders and Contractors is committed to recruiting and upskilling women so we can continue to develop a diverse and inclusive construction industry. Join us in celebrating all the career opportunities for women in construction during Women in Construction Week, March 7-13.

Steve Cona, Tampa

Voters, you were warned

Next step: All for Transportation 2022 | Editorial, Feb. 26

Before the transportation tax went on the ballot, Hillsborough County Commissioner Stacy White said there was a problem with the language. He specifically pointed out that having citizens control tax money was not going to be allowed under the state Constitution. He was ignored and criticized. Now the Florida Supreme Court has agreed with that interpretation, and the tax’s proponents are railing against the decision and calling it an act of judicial activism This is laughable. If you want a ballot initiative to pass, make sure it doesn’t violate existing law.

Robert Bennett, Valrico

Activist judges on the right

Next step: All for Transportation 2022 | Editorial, Feb. 26

Now we see the stark reality of having an ultra-conservative governor. Gov. Ron DeSantis has appointed judges to the Florida Supreme Court who have an activist agenda. I recall a time when the Republicans loudly called for judges who would not be “legislating from the bench,” but now we have judges appointed by a Republican governor who feel entitled to veto the will of the voters.

Jim Donelon, St. Petersburg

The National Popular Vote compact is fair and smart

Pact will restore voter confidence | Column, Feb. 9

The guest column about the National Popular Vote is compelling and convincing. It is clear that our method of electing a president requires major reform. This is truly a nonpartisan issue. Millions of voters of both parties across the nation are ignored by candidates focusing their campaigns exclusively on swing states. Millions more voters are then effectively disenfranchised by the “winner-take-all” electoral system employed by most states.

Calls to abolish the Electoral College are futile, as it is a complex and arduous process that would require a constitutional amendment. The workaround offered by the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact is ingenious. States that sign on to it pledge that their electors will vote for the winner of the popular vote on the national, rather than state, level.

Florida has the opportunity to join this interstate agreement by signing on to the National Popular Vote bill introduced for consideration in the upcoming legislative session. By passing this groundbreaking legislation, Florida would contribute its 29 votes to the 270 needed to make the National Popular Vote the law of the land.

Barbara Pierce, St. Petersburg

Will it take a terrible accident to fix this?

Bayshore traffic in Tampa

I have had the pleasure of living on Tampa’s Bayshore Boulevard for 13 years. In that time, there has been an increase in traffic, particularly traffic that has no business traveling the road. I have seen tractor trailers and hazardous waste tankers, with the tanker doing a U-turn at Rome and Bayshore. Just recently a fully loaded car transporter went by, filling up the southbound road. Since bicycle lanes have now been installed, the lanes are much narrower and it seems to me that a major accident is just waiting to happen. There are the people who tow large boats, along with landscapers and their trailers. Many of these vehicles are are speeding and would not be able to stop in an emergency. Is it going to take a major accident before this problem is rectified?

Pamela Rodriguez, Tampa

No one should use that word

Just don’t use that word | Column, Feb. 26

I am a 65-year-old white male. I was raised by parents who taught me that using the n-word was degrading, demoralizing and despicable. I have spent my entire life trying to pass that view along to everyone with whom I interact. However, many years ago now, I was dismayed when younger Black people decided that it was okay for Black people to use the n-word, but not white people. That is hypocritical. Let’s fight to end racism. Let’s fight to get Black Americans the same access to quality of life as white Americans. But let’s not create new forms of inequality along the way. As far as the n-word goes, anyone who uses it loses my respect.

Jordan Braun, St. Petersburg

Cartoon wasn’t funny

Why you need two masks | Chip Bok cartoon, Feb. 26

I realize many of us fail to see the humor in a political cartoon that disagrees with our politics and social views. But it’s not funny when a cartoonist joins with the conspiracy theorists in suggesting that efforts to encourage the wearing of masks is a government effort to increase government control of Americans.

Lee Edgerley, Tampa