June 2019 Labor-Citizen

Brothers and Sisters:
As this issues goes to press the apprentices of IUEC Local 17 will be completing their end of year finals for the current classes. Good luck to all those moving forward in their education in the best trade in the trades.

On May 15, Brother Tim Narowitz taught a class in material handling equipment certification to about a dozen members of the Local. The training was to get them certified in fork lift and boom truck operation so they can operate the equipment on a job site and meet OSHA requirements. The members taking the class spent four hours in the classroom and four in the parking lot in the rear of the hall demonstrating their operational skills. This is another way to secure the work we claim through continuing education and certification.

A new welding class began on June 10. This is another in the line of continuing education offerings through the National Elevator Industry Educational Program (NEIEP). While other Locals have a trailer decked out in welding equipment come to a location, Local 17 is fortunate to be able to go the world headquarters of Lincoln Electric in Euclid for their training by Lincoln instructors. This gives the apprentices and journeymen a foot up when attempting to complete their 3G and 4G certifications. The class runs for two weeks, four hours a night for a total of 40 instructional hours.

If you know of someone looking to get into the elevator constructors, check out the NEIEP website, neiep.org, for information on the recruitment in Cincinnati (Local 11) and Columbus (Local 37). The Cincinnati recruitment starts September 4and the Columbus will be closing soon.

The news out of the State House in Columbus on the Elevator Licensing Bill is encouraging. The bill, which made it out of committee prior to the end of the previous session, did not make it to the floor for a vote before the end of the session. Since it was taken up by the legislature earlier in the session, it gives the bill which would outline requirements for licensing of all elevator constructors in the State a better opportunity for passage.

On May 17, IUEC Local 17 had its annual Retirees Dinner at Harry’s Steak House in Independence. Among the almost 100 attendees were Brothers Ray Bowles, Mark Carollo, Ken Eaton, Robin Eaton and Scott Runyon who all claimed their Gold Cards and Brother Bob Hess walked out with the retirees watch. For photos of the event, go to iueclocal17.org.

On June 1, Hickory Nut Golf Course hosted the IUEC Local 17 Golf Outing. The 60 active and retired members as well as their guests had a great time and the weather held out until the very end of the event. The low-gross winners were Jeff and Scott Ward with a seven-under 67. A large thank you goes out to Brothers Scott Hicks and Entertainment Chairman Zack Lanum for another great event.

The Brothers of Local 17 supported the Cleveland Building Trades picket of the new Menards store on Brookpark Road. The general contractor, McConnell Excavating, would not allow any of the signatory building contractors to bid on the job and brought in out of town non-union workers to do the job. In the elevator constructors case, they brought in Louisville, Kentucky-based Able Elevator to do the job at the Brookpark store as well as the new Avon location.

The May meeting saw a visit from IUEC Assistant Director of Organizing Dan Baumann who spoke about the Menards situation as well as the on going national efforts at organizing Oracle, Delaware and Richmond Elevator Companies. “These are major ongoing efforts to win over the workers as well as organize the companies” Baumann told the membership.

Former Local 17 organizer Jim Lowery was also there to tell the gathering that “because of the three-year effort to organize Gable Elevator and the lessons learned from that campaign, Local 17 is being used as a template across the International on how to run a successful campaign.”

Brunswick Ward 3 Councilwoman Sister Andrea Rodriguez is holding a campaign fundraiser golf outing on July 26th at Bunker Hill Golf Course, 3060 Pearl Road, Medina. The cost is $85 for golf and dinner or $30 for dinner only is paid before July 19. For more information contact Chad Gibson at chad@bunkerhillgc.com.
As of this writing the bench is clear.

June 2019 Elevator Constructor

Brothers and Sisters:

As this issue reaches your home, the active Brothers and Sisters of Local 17 will be celebrating with the retired Brothers and Sisters of Local 17 at the annual Retiree’s Dinner held at Harry’s Steak House on Brecksville Road in Independence.

Every year I see many of the same faces. A few still look as good as the day they retired.
Many of them stooping a little lower, moving a little slower, stretching to hear and keep up with the conversation. It’s always good to see them, whether they drove themselves, hitched a ride with a buddy or were driven to the occasion by family.

After drinking a bunch of beer and telling a bunch of elevator lies, we sit down to eat. One of the first orders of business is to acknowledge the retirees at the gathering and read the names of those who passed away in the previous year. This is always a sad time. Many of the men I knew only as faces at the dinner, golf outing, Christmas party or stories told over coffee. Now it seems I’m moving into the phase of my life where I know them as faces from the machine room.

A couple of years ago I opined in a column that when looking around at a safety meeting for the “Old Timers” I realized that at some point my peers and I had become them. I don’t know exactly when that happened but, I know when I realized it. It was our turn to guide those around us like those who came before guided us.

As I look around the dinner every year, the hair gets a little grayer, the waistlines a little bigger and the stories a little taller but the laughter and camaraderie bind them together in this life and the next.

I look forward to the day when I can join them.
Where are they working?

DJ Spring and Deven Shields doing a two-car mod at Eaton on Chagrin for Otis,

Bill Sellers is in West Virginia doing a jack for Kone,

Ryan Todd and Rob Timko at Tru Hotel on East 70th installing two cars for Schindler,

Ken Bowles and Shane Huff at the Cleveland Clinic P Building doing a four-car mod for Otis,

Dave Gnagy and Matt Carlton at Steris in Painesville installing one car for Schindler,

Joe Sumph and Brian Bond at the Holiday inn on Rockside doing a five-car mod for Schindler,

Don Kaiser and Matt Herbold at the airport doing escalator work for Schindler,

Bob Rawdon and Dion Yatsko in Columbus doing a jack for Gable,

Dave Adrian and Matt Paige at the mill doing maintenance for Otis,

Bernie Sickle and Cory Ptak at the Renaissance Hotel doing door operators for Schindler,

Shawn Yatsko, Dan Varga, Mark Byram and Felix DeJesus finishing a mod at Moreland Courts for Schindler,

Anthony Metcalf and Jason Saunders at Euclid City Schools installing a two-stop elevator for Thyssen,

John Logue and Pat Pollock doing a one-car mod at Lutheran Hospital West,

Dave Francis and Andrew Daniels finishing a two-car mod at Cleveland Athletic Club for Kone,

Jim Thompson and Lem Hurd doing a two-car mod at 740 Euclid for Otis,

Dave Lehotan and Brian Chambers doing door operators at Lake Edge Condos for Schindler,

Al Ward and Brandyn Alley doing a two-car mod at Progressive Alpha Complex for Otis,

Bob Meyer and Jon McCuan doing a two-car mod at Fenway Manor for Thyssen,

Matt Hausler and Jason Mays doing a two-car mod at the Lincoln Building for Gable,

Drew Williams and Joel Reyes doing a five-car mod at the May Company Building for Kone,

Pat McCann and Brian Owens installing two cars at St. Bernardos for Thyssen,

Tim Narowitz and Matt Harden at Randall Park Apartments doing a one-car mod for Thyssen,

Jim Ehrbar and Marc Carollo at St. Augustine on Detroit doing a six-stop mod for Gable,

Scott Hicks and Tino Chaibai at Monticello Middle School installing one car for Gable and,

Ed Gimmel and Dave Ford replacing travel cables at 1 Cleveland Center for Schindler.

As of this writing the bench is clear.
Until next month…

Work smart, work safe and slow down for safety.
Don
Dknapik@windstream.net

May 2019 Labor-Citizen

Brothers and Sisters:

Happy May Day!

The second set of RC 500 Practical Exams were administered over two days on April 24th and 25th. These exams count toward the Apprentices overall score on the Mechanics Exam and as new exams roll out will be even more important for Apprentices not even involved yet in the trade.

The IUEC recently banned the use of Leatherman-style uninsulated multi-tools after Otis mechanic Brother Paul DeChane of Local 71 (Miami, FL) was electrocuted while using one to crimp a connection on a door lock. These style tools are very common in the field and should be discontinued as soon as possible.

There are two continuing education classes planned for the coming months. The first is the forklift class being taught by Tim Narowitz at the Laborers Local 310 classroom located in the rear of the parking lot at 3250 Euclid Ave. This class will give you the basic tools needed to be able to unload a truck on an worksite. The second is the welding class which gives the student the opportunity to earn 3G or 4G welding certifications. This is a 40 hour commitment over the course of two weeks. The class is taught at the world headquarters of Lincoln Electric in Euclid, Ohio. If you are interested in this or any other continuing education classes, contact Business Manager John Driscoll Jr. at JEDriscoll@iueclocal17.org or call at 216-431-8088.

As with all of the continuing education offerings, everyone you take makes you a better Constructor and a more valuable employee. They also give you an edge when work slows down making you recession resistant.

There has been a series of vehicle break-ins at the school. The JATC is discussing moving the school to a different location but, for now everyone is encouraged to keep all valuables out of sight. As John said at the meeting, even a bit of loose change looks like a fortune to a homeless person.

IUEC Local 17 will hold the annual Local 17 Golf Outing at Hickory Nut Golf Course, 23601 Royalton Rd, Columbia Station on June 1st. The cost has yet to be announced but, it is always a well attended and fun event.

As of this writing the bench is clear.

May 2019 Elevator Constructor

Brothers and Sisters:

With the start of the Spring semester, I began my first NEIEP teaching experience with RC 600, solid state electronics. When I took this as a distance learning class as the brand new apprenticeship program was being rolled out across the International, I considered it the single most challenging course in the curriculum.

The unit material is dense and if you have a marginal grasp on electronics to begin with, the gauntlet is laid down. I struggled through and passed the unit tests and final by the barest of margins. After all, seventy equals one hundred. When it came time to study for the mechanics test, I was bound and determined to not struggle through and be satisfied with “just good enough.” I studied the material until I could almost recite it forward and back and when it came time for the test I was prepared.

Now that I’m teaching it, I find myself excited to sit down and review the material at home and then present it in class.

When doing the review of Ohm’s Law, I had each of the apprentices Ohm themselves out and figure how many amps they would draw when exposed to 120 volts. Some were higher than others and some barely registered but, the experience tried to drive home the need for electrical safety. It only takes a tiny amperage to stop a heart.

Recently an escalator repair team was reinstalling a bull gear. The team that removed the gear had to have the disconnect removed in order to have enough room to maneuver the gear out. A licensed electrical contractor did the removal. When it came time to reinstall the disconnect, the contractor came out and found that there was voltage on the taped up leads.

After many phone calls and investigation it was found that the two escalators, both the up and the down, were fed by the same breaker in the vault which was LOTO during the removal. The customer, not wanting both his units out of service, had the breaker put back in to run the other unit.

There is a lot wrong with this scenario. Had things gone a bit differently, I’d be writing an obituary for a good friend and long time colleague, one of my students or both. The large takeaway is very simple, no matter what you are doing, take nothing for granted.

Work smart…

Work safe…

and, most importantly, SLOW DOWN for safety.

Where are they working?

John Goggin and Ed Gimmel changing sheave liners at North Point Office for Schindler,

Bob Rawdon and Dion Yatsko at 145 Rich Street in Columbus doing a mod for Gable,

Todd Miner and Joe Wallace from Local 93 (Nashville) doing training for Thyssen at Tri-C Westshore,

Kenny Jung and Jason Tischler at St. Luke’s Manor repairing water damage for Schindler,

Ed Gimmel and Brian Chambers doing full load tests at Progressive Field for Schindler,

Tom Peska and Ernie Rodriguez unloading a truck at Holiday Inn Express in Madison for Schindler,

Bill Sellers heading to Pittsburgh to do a jack for Kone,

John Goggin and Tim Gibbons doing cable work at Saxon House for Schindler,

Mitch Klemp and Kyle Loza from Local 45 doing a mod at the VA for Gable,

Billy Ralph and Cody Watson from Local 31 installing two hydros at the Holiday Inn Madison for Schindler,

Scott Hicks and Tino Chiabia at Vista Springs in Independence installing two 2-stop hydros for Gable,

Jeff Lindell at Nationwide Insurance on Columbus finishing an escalator mod for Kone.
The Brothers and Sisters of Local 17 send their condolences to the families of Brother Jim Horvath as his widow passed away and Brother Tim Moennich whose sister-in-law passed way.

As of this writing the bench is clear.

Until next month,

Work smart, work safe and slow down for safety.
Don
DKnapik@windstream.net

April ’19 Labor Citizen

Brothers and Sisters:

The Joint Apprenticeship Committee (JAC) decided that the next continuing education class will be on hydraulic valve adjustment and troubleshooting. The class will cover the basic operation of valves, how and why they need adjusting and diagnosis of valve issues. This is a very important skill for Constructors at every level to acquire or reenforce. Time and date for the class has not been set. Watch this space for further updates.

The first apprentice make up class for those who missed at least one classroom session will be on a Friday in May. As of now no firm date has been set.

Apprentices must turn in their OJT forms in a timely manner or explain to the JAC why they are not current. Two letters to appear have been sent by the Board to apprentices who are far behind in this basic reporting requirement. If you are behind, get your forms turned in as soon as possible.

The latest news on the pension crisis plaguing so many pensions plans is that as of now Congress has not come up with a plan that addresses the needs of plans that are insolvent or heading towards insolvency.

The plan in the worst condition is the Teamsters Central States which is losing $2.1 billion a year and will be insolvent by 2025. There may be a plan called the Liability Removal Program which seeks $3 billion from the Federal government and an additional $3 billion from increased premiums paid to the Pension Benefit Guarantee Corporation (PBGC) which Federally insures pension plans. The current premium to PBGC is $29 per active and retired member. This could go up drastically should the LRP go into effect.

There is a sense of extreme urgency with the issue on the part of Congress. Since 2020 is Presidential election year and with that distraction going on it would make it nearly impossible to pass any reform until 2021 when insolvent or nearly insolvent plans will be an even larger burden on any rescue effort.

The IUEC Local 17 Retiree’s Dinner will be held May 17th at Harry’s Steak House, 5664 Brecksville Road, Independence, Ohio. Festivities start at 5:30 and dinner is served at 6. Please RSVP as soon as possible for this always well attended event.

A big thank you goes out to Brother Joe Broz, Jr. and his wife Meg for decorating the Local 17 truck for the 2019 Cleveland St.Patrick’s Day Parade donated by ThyssenKrupp and keeping the participants lined up though the route!

Congratulations to Sister Andrea Rodriguez on her appointment to the vacant Ward 3 council seat in the city of Brunswick.

The Brothers and Sisters of IUEC Local 17 send their condolences to the families of Retired Brother Jim Horvath whose widow passed away and to Brothers Mike and Tim Moennich who lost a cousin.

As of this writing the bench is clear.