November ’11 Elevator Constructor

Brothers and sisters:


There is a lot going on.  So let’s get into it…

In a few days we will be going to the ballot box and deciding the future of public-sector unionization and to a greater extent the future of organized labor in Ohio.  The effort of the GOP lead executive office and statehouse to turn our once great state into a right-to-work-for-less state is a slap in the face to every public and private employee unionized or not. While I try to be as fair as possible to each side in an argument, it is difficult to understand the motivations of the state leaders to create a place where the standard of living would free fall to the lowest level it can achieve.

Senate Bill 5, from the beginning, was an effort to legislate what government could not negotiate.  As we all know, there are two signatures on every contract and if a governmental entity did not and could not agree with an item on a contract they had the perfect right to walk away from the table.  To limit the scope of contract negotiations screams of the type of extreme socialism that conservatives try to leverage against organized labor.

A NO vote on Issue 2, the initiative signed onto by almost 1.3 million Ohioans, would restore the balance to the contract process and let it play out where it is supposed to… at the negotiating table.

At the September meeting our convention delegates (Dennis Dixon, John Driscoll, Jr. and Brian McTaggart) lead by Business Agent Tim Moennich gave a comprehensive report on their activities at the 30th General Convention and discussed in detail the resolutions that came out of their committees.  Tim worked on the health committee, John on the pension, Brian sat on the resolutions and Denny heard trials and appeals.  If you wanted to know the details, you should have been at the meeting.  The meetings leading up to the contact in July are going to be very important for everyone who cares about their job.  Take an interest and be active.

Over the years Local 17 has been viewed as a bit of a renegade because of our vocal opposition to the leadership on several issues.  In spite of this perception Tim made a bid for an International vice president position.  Although he fell short in the final balloting, his efforts and the efforts of our delegates cleared these misperceptions and raised the overall profile of Local 17 in the eyes of the leadership and delegates from around North America.

Their work and the work of every other delegate should be applauded by all.

Also at the September meeting was the first reading of a proposed by-law change to increase the Special Meetings fine from $15 to $20.

Keep in mind that the November 18th, December 9th and January 13th meetings are MANDATORY.

Congratulations to the following newly minted mechanics: Joseph Broz, David Brurke, Jason Costa, Cristino DeJesus, Kevin Driscoll, James Ehrbar,  Craig Haller, Anthony Karovich, Thomas Kelly, Stephen Kemp, Jonathon Koch, Heath Kramer, Timothy Lieb, Timothy Narowitz, Don Page, Ronald Rittwage, Brian Semanco, Joseph Simcic, Jason Sohayda and Jeff Ward.

Because there will be only seven apprentices in the program for next year, Local 17 will be using distance learning for the first time.  The apprentices in the program will meet with Jerry Reitz once a month at the school and otherwise will be responsible for their own work.  This is the first time Local 17 will be using distance learning for the apprenticeship program.

As of this writing there are 24 mechanics and one apprentice out of work.


Till next month,

Work smart, work safe and slow down for safety.




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