Brothers and sisters:
The North Shore Federation of Labor is asking your support for our union brothers and sisters in the United Food and Commercial Workers Local 880 (UFCW) and their efforts to negotiate a fair contract with Rite Aid. While Rite Aid’s profits have soared they have cut hours and benefits for their represented workers and have refused to come to the table with a reasonable offer that maintains workers integrity.
Consequently the UFCW, North Shore Federation of Labor and their affiliated unions and locals are asking all members of the building trades to boycott Rite Aid. The other represented pharmacies, CVS and Giant Eagle, each offer incentives to those members looking to transfer their prescriptions. The UFCW is a great union that truly puts its members first. We need to support our union brothers and sisters with the combined effort of Cleveland area labor voting with their pocketbooks.
The November 18, December 9 and January 13 meetings are mandatory special meetings for the nomination, election and installation of officers. A $20 fine will be issued for non-attendance. Requests for exemptions from attendance must be presented to the Local 17, Executive Board or Business Representative prior to the meeting either in writing, in person or by phone.
I am very pleased to announce that the new issue of Lift Magazine, a publication of NEIEP, should be in the mail as we speak. The theme of the issue is New Technology. There are articles on ThyssenKrupp’s Twin system, PMS motors and regenerative drives, MRL systems and the new performance-based elevator code. It is another tool in NEIEP’s box of continuing education for the new and experienced member. There are also a number of classes available online. Please take the time to check out the site at neiep.org to enhance your knowledge in the trade.
At the October meeting, Business Agent Tim Moennich reported on three deaths in the International. The details were sketchy, but this needs to be a reminder to everyone to work safe, work smart and be very aware of what is going on around you. Another important aspect is to not cut corners on safety or Article IV team work. If you need help on a job, call for it. If you can’t get it, lock it out and tell them to send a team. Safety is no accident.
Callback from Hell
A member recently took a callback at a Parma apartment complex. When checking out the pit, the car did not stop when he popped the bottom door lock. When he examined the lock he found the wires jumped together on the same stud. After correcting that issue, he decided to check the rest of the door locks. When running the car down from the top landing, he found the same situation with the top lock. He also discovered furniture on the car top. When he informed the building management and the Parma Police, they arrested one the residents on a number of charges. Again, safety is no accident.
Cleveland Brown’s All-Pro lineman Joe Thomas donated ten tickets along with vouchers for food, parking and sweatshirts to be given to out of work members and their families. The tickets are for the November 13th game against the St. Louis Rams. Local 17, as of this writing, has five tickets left. If you or someone you know can use the tickets, then give call Business Agent Tim Moennich a call at 216-431-8088.
Schindler recently paid $2000 to the Contingency Fund for Article IV flooring work given to other contractors at the UH Cancer Center. This was in addition to the amount paid previously for another trade blocking cable holes on the same job. Keep vigilant. Your out of work brothers are counting on you.
“I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.”
Since the election is only a few days away, I do not need to remind everyone reading this that a NO vote on Issue 2 is vital to supporting our brothers and sisters in the public-sector unions. This is the home stretch on what has been a tsunami of support for the repeal of this union busting, ill-conceived notion that in order to balance local budgets, it is necessary to legislate what the government cannot negotiate.
I was talking with a friend who knows a member of a local school board. The board member was telling him that if Issue 2 passes, then the system will be able to keep off the state watch list. My friend’s response was that at contract time the board needs to hire better negotiators. Most contracts have a reopen clause which allows either side to amend an agreement before the end of the contract. The IUEC used this with NEBA to create the Assistant Mechanic slot which has put several thousand brothers and sisters back to work since its acceptance in August 2010.
There is also binding arbitration with public-sector contracts that is designed to avoid strikes and impasses. According to the October 16 issue of the Plain Dealer the last public-sector strike was in July 2009 and there have been 16 total strikes in the last five years. There were 18 cases of binding arbitration in 2010 according to the Ohio State Employment Relations Board (SERB).
SERB is the agency charged with collecting, tracking and analyzing the public-sector contracts for the state of Ohio in much the same way that the GAO does for the federal government. The agency currently has 3,285 contracts on file.
In that same edition, the PD Editorial Board endorsed the passage of Issue 2. An unemotional reading of the piece indicates that there was much debate among the members before arriving at the decision to endorse its passage. An analysis of their logic, particularly in their naïve notion that the GOP led government would reexamine the more onerous aspects of the law, shows a fundamental misunderstanding of the first Law of Politics “He who has the Gold makes the rules.” Most, if not all, office holders are beholden to this law through those that fund their campaigns.
North Shore AFL-CIO Executive Director Harriet Applegate wrote in her October 22nd rebuttal that “telling Ohioans that public employees are the problem and consequently have to pay for a crisis that was not of their making is deceitful and wrong” hit the nail square on the head. The flood of letters decrying the papers endorsement and the number of subscription cancellations because of it is further proof of the acrimony following this issue.
Does their need to be reform? What form should it take? Who needs to sacrifice and how? These are all valid questions that need answers as the state moves forward after the defeat of Issue 2.