October ’19 Labor-Citizen

Brothers and sisters:

As of this writing, IUEC Local 17 has 44 apprentices working in its jurisdiction. 35 are enrolled in RC 500, RC 600, RC 700 and RC 800 level classes for the fall semester. Two apprentices working out of town are enrolled in distance learning and seven are doing the New Hire training online and will be added to the appropriate class in the spring. This is the largest apprentice class Local 17 has had in over 10 years.

NEIEP is rolling out new online OJT forms that will be available through the Student Portal on the NEIEP website, neiep.org. Local 17’s JATC will still be requiring paper forms through September. Please take the time to acquaint yourself with the new online form and how it is to be filled out.

Apprentices should have received their raises effective in the first pay period of September based on their year status. If any apprentice has a question about what year they are considered or what their pay scale is, contact Business Manager John Driscoll, Jr. at JEDriscoll@iueclocal17.org or call the hall at 216-431-8088.

IUEC Local 17 in cooperation with Work Preservation and local signatory Gable Elevator hosted Ohio State Senator Vernon Sykes (D-Akron) and Ohio House Representative Bride Sweeney (D-Cleveland) to explain the need for the State Licensing Bill currently making its way back through the legislature. Phil Issac from Gable hosted the law makers at the modernization the company is performing at the Caxton Building on Huron Avenue near East Ninth Street. Also attending were Kevin Sullivan from Work Preservation, Local 17 Business Manger John Driscoll and Jared Holt. The company is modernizing two passenger elevators with an old freight car still in place.

In a separate site visit, Sullivan and Holt along with Tim Moennich of Work Preservation and Andy Herf met with Representative Dick Stein (R-Hilliard) and senators Tina Maharath (D-Canal Winchester) and Stephanie Kunze (R-Hilliard) to emphasize the need for proper training of elevator mechanics.

Using these forums, the group was able to show the complexity of working safely on elevators in general as well as the maintenance and training needs required to keep the equipment running in a safe and reliable manner.

It is hoped these and forums like this will educate the legislators on the importance of licensing elevator constructors in Ohio.

The Brothers and Sisters of IUEC Local 17 send their condolences to the family of withdrawn Brother Lloyd Parks, Jr. who passed away September 3. Lloyd left the field to work as an engineer for Otis.

As of this writing the bench is clear.

October ’19 Elevator Constructor

Brothers and Sisters:

In July of 2016 I was cycling the Great Allegheny Passage and C&O Canal Towpath Trails between Pittsburgh and Washington DC. After a day and a half of cycling up hill from Pittsburgh to the Eastern Continental Divide, I started the decent to Cumberland, Maryland. Along the way I crossed the Mason-Dixon Line (which is a real line across the path) and shortly there after came across a hiker with a backpack and large American flag. It is not unusual to see bikes decorated in any variety of styles but a hiker really stood out. Since it was almost July Fourth I stopped to talk with him.

His name was Marty Wills and he couldn’t have been much taller than me but his legs were chiseled from walking with an extraordinary load. He was wearing shorts and worn boots but the other thing that stood out other than the flag was his shirt with the number 22 in large print on the front and back.

His mission was to walk from Muskegon, Michigan to Camp Lejune North Carolina to raise awareness of the 22 veterans who commit suicide everyday. The number was a bit staggering to me and a bit of math put that total number for a year at 8000 deaths. After a brief conversation, I shook his hand, he took a picture of me, I took a picture of him and each of us continued our journey.

As I laid in bed that night I could not help but feel very small. Here I was doing these rides for reasons which at that time were not totally clear to me and this man was giving part of his life to help his brothers and sisters in arms survive one more day. I also thought about the men and women I saw every week when I took care of the elevators at the VA in Brecksville. There were older veterans, mostly from the Vietnam era and occasionally a soldier with a ball cap commemorating service in Korea. The vast majority of the faces were not much older than my own children, mid- to late 20’s at best, and were there for drug, alcohol and mental health counseling.

These were the ones he was trying to save.

His story has stuck with me to this day.

Since the article about my fight with depression and the untimely death of one of our members, I have received positive feedback from those around the country who are dealing with the same issue. I want everyone to know that the only reason the stigma around mental health continues is because people are reluctant to discuss it and feel there are limited resources available.

By the time you receive this issue of the Constructor, the Local 17 website, iueclocal17.org, will have links to resources available to not only IUEC members and their families but to the community at large. I want everyone visiting to know that any link clicked on the site is done in total anonymity. There are no cookies or trackers on the site. Period. The only information seen on the web administrator dashboard is the number of clicks on external links.

Please feel free to pass those links on to friends, family or anyone who needs a hand. Also, if you know of an organization that can help those in crisis, pass it on at webadmin@iueclocal17.org.
Until next month,

Work smart, work safe and slow down for safety.



September ’19 Labor-Citizen

Brothers and sisters:

IUEC Local 17 saw another early exit from the 2019 AFL-CIO Building Trades Labor Day Softball Tournament held at Parma’s James Day Park. In the Thursday night opener, the scrappy team was “mercy ruled out” by a much stronger Pipefitters 120 team. In the third inning, outfielder Rob Timko was fielding a ball hit to left when he injured his knee with a possible torn ACL. In the second game of the double-elimination tournament, the Constructors hitting and fielding were greatly improved from game one but, they still fell to Boilermakers 722 by a score of 12-11.

All of the IUEC Local 17 apprentices are reminded to keep their JATC forms current. There are forms available at the hall and at the school. As you know, if you fall behind on your forms you will be brought up to explain yourself to the JATC. This will result in losing time from work to attend the meeting.

Many mechanic in the Local are working with probationary apprentices. Here are a few things to keep in mind when you have a fresh face to the trade:

Don’t expect them to know as much as you. This should be obvious but it is easy to forget that they are unfamiliar with the slang common to this trade even when they are coming to the Constructors from another trade.

You are their first impression of the trade. No matter where they come from or what their background is, you are the one that sets their feet on the path to success.

Teach them the right way. This not only means plumb, square, straight, level and to a sixty-fourth of an inch, it means the Big Four of safety: on and off a car top, in and out of a pit, lock out/tag out and appropriate PPE for the job. For a rookie, these are the four most important skill to keep them alive.

Patience is a virtue. If you have ever dealt with children you know the truth in this statement, the same holds true for probationary apprentices. Everyone comes to the trades with baggage and expectations. We need patience to help channel the skills they come with and develop those they need.

Not everyone can be a Ranger or a SEAL. Occasionally someone comes to the trades with great intentions but simply cannot cut it as a Constructor. Be honest with your probationary about the areas they need to work on to be successful in the trade, give them the opportunities to demonstrate those skills, be honest with your superintendent about their progress and your assessment.

Be a good union member. This means attending the meetings, paying your dues on time and being a general good example of all aspects of union membership. The IUEC is a great place to make a career and you never know when you will be working with the next General President.

As of this writing the bench is clear
Work smart, work safe and slow down for safety.


September ’19 Elevator Constructor

Brothers and Sisters:

It is hard to believe that as I sit here writing these words at the end of July, you will be reading them at the beginning of September and school at all levels will be in full swing. If you are an apprentice in the program, no matter what level you are at, there is always more to learn about your subject. A good student never stop asking questions about the material (except when its 8:50 and the teacher is just as tired as the rest of the class) and seeking out answers and applying them to their job.

Study well and it will pay off in the end.

As you will see, work in Cleveland is great. This is the first time in over a decade there are temporary mechanics working in the field and help coming in from out of town to shore up short term jobs.

My advice to those working as a temp is to work hard, work safe and teach well. Many of you will have probationaries and you will be their introduction to the trade. Teach them how to get on and off a car top, in and out of a pit as well as proper safety practices for all aspects of the trade and you will set them up for success.
Where are they working?

DJ Spring, Al Ward, Andrea Rodriguez and Deven Shields at the Lumen installing three cars for Otis,

Ken Bowles, and Shane Huff finishing a mod at Cleveland Clinic P Building for Otis,

Ron Johnston and Carl Turner doing a two-car mod at 740 Euclid for Otis,

Jim Thompson and Mario Adornetto doing a mod at The Carlyle in Lakewood for Otis,

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

Matt Pinchot and Brandyn Alley at The Deville doing a two-car mod for Otis,

Matt Weingart and Aaron Reed at Presidential Apartments doing a two-car mod for Schindler,

Joe Sumph and Brian Bond doing a two-car mod at Castlewood Apartments for Schindler,

Gary Thompson and Brian Seither doing a two-car mod at Mercy Hospital for Schindler,

Shaun Yatsko and Dan Varga at Medical Mutual Rose Building doing a two-car mod for Schindler,

Mark Byram and Felix DeJesus doing the mod at Penton Media for Schindler,

Don Yoho and Jay Schaeffer unloading three cars at Rocket Mortgage Field House for Schindler,

Jason Barnett and Don Yoho installing a car at Eastlake High School for Schindler,

Drew Williams, Joel Reyes, Brendan Highland and Russell Barrows doing a five-car mod at May Company for Kone,

Dave Francis and Andrew Daniels installing two cars at Top Golf for Kone,

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

Ric Supinski and James Hirz installing one car at Akron Children’s Hospital for Kone,

Bill Dudas and Tony Kuhn doing a two-car mod at the Archer for Thyssen,

Tom Reitz slowing down for safety at Thyssen,

Todd Ross and Morgan Armstrong decommissioning a car at the Bowery Building in Akron for Kone,

Anthony Metcalf and Mike Ross doing a two car mod a t Euclid Beach Apartments for Thyssen,

Jason Fredrick and Chris Sipos doing a two car mod at the VA for Thyssen,

Tim Narowitz and Matt Harden doing a two car mod at Enterprise Place for Thyssen,

Pat McCann and Brian Owens installing two cars a the University of Akron for Thyssen,

Scott Hicks and Tino Chaibai installing a car at Arial on Broadway for Gable,

Jim Ehrbar and Marc Carollo doing a two-car mod at the Lincoln Building for Gable,

Allan Langsdorf and Tim Mullins working for United Drilling drilling a hole for Thyssen at Royalton Place,

Scott Lang, Shawn Winter and Tim and Tom Finocchi from Pittsburgh tearing out two cars at 3100 Euclid for Schindler,

Jeff Ward and Scott Delauter installing a car at Belmont School in Indiana for Thyssen.

The Brothers and Sisters of Local 17 send their condolences to the family of Schindler mechanic Gary Thompson whose father passed away.

Until next month,

Work smart, work safe and slow down for safety.

Health and Wellness

Administrators note:  The following links are provided for the assistance of friends, family and those in crisis.  If you know of any other resources, please forward them to the IUEC Local 17 website administrator.

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline

           1-800-273-TALK (8255) — 24 hour lifeline for those in crisis

American Foundation for Suicide Prevention

IUEC Members Assistance Program

ADAMHS Board of Cuyahoga County

Master Agreement Substance Abuse Information (SAMHSA)




International Suicide Prevention Wiki

22KILL — organization started by veterans for veterans in crisis







IUEC Local 17 Enters 2019 Trades Softball Tournament

To all,

The 38th Annual Cleveland Buiding Trades Softball Tournament held at James Day Park starts Thursday August 29th at 6pm. Local 17 is entering a team, anyone interested in playing please contact Business Manager John Driscoll, Jr. at the hall at 216-431-8088 or by cell at 216-513-1413.

If you can’t play, please come out to support our team and the Cleveland Building Trades.

August ’19 Labor Citizen

Brothers and Sisters:

As you read this, apprentices will be returning to the classroom.  There will again be four classes taught Monday through Thursday with two make-up classes scheduled for Friday later in the semester.  

IUEC Local 17 has a unique situation occurring right now.  This is the first time in almost a decade that there are apprentices raised to temporary mechanics along with teams from out of town coming in to help out with the abundance of work we currently enjoy.  For example, the August issue of the Elevator Constructor,  the IUEC journal, will list 30 different teams or multiple team jobs either currently active or completed by the time of publication.  This does not include those jobs previously listed and currently running in the jurisdiction.  

There have been reports of supervisors asking teams to take time off between jobs.  Given our current work situation in Local 17, it seems illogical that companies would sit employees who could be helping with the backlog of repair work or testing.  If you find yourself in that situation, call Business Manager John Driscoll. Jr. at 216-431-8088 or email him at JEDriscoll@iueclocal17.org.

Oracle Elevator, the Florida-based non-signatory, has expanded its footprint in that state with its eighth company purchase since 2017.  Oracle claims to be the largest non-signatory elevator company working in 14 states.  Oracle does have a presence in Columbus and is known to have done work at The Ohio State University.  If you see an Oracle truck or any non-signatory vehicle, call John at the hall at the number listed above.  As always, the signatories of IUEC Local 17 are listed below.

The Elevator Industry Health Benefits Plan offers the Member Assistance Program in cooperation with Beacon Health Options.  This program offers in person, online and over the phone help for those in need of counseling, legal and financial services.  This is a free program and all contact is kept strictly confidential.  For more information call 1-800-331-4824 or online at achievesolutions.net/iuec.

The Brothers and Sisters of Local 17 send condolences to Schindler mechanic Gary Thompson on the passing of his father.

As of this writing the bench is clear.