April 2012 Elevator Constructor

Brothers and sisters:

There seems to be a disconnect between business and labor over the value of each.  I once heard it put that “you cannot love the employer and hate the employee” and its logical extension “you cannot love the employee and hate the employer.”

The Right demonizes labor, organized labor in particular, in its quest to maximize the profits of its corporate patrons.  They champion Right-to-Work legislation, limitations on public-sector union negotiating, the perpetuation of the view of union leadership as dues collecting, racketeering, do-nothings and the minimization of the skilled workforce that produces the returns for their shareholders.

The Left views corporations as evil opportunist building their fortunes on the backs of the good and noble workers. They keep worker’s wages artificially low, attempting to drive a wedge between co-workers and caring more for their profit than the people that produce it.

The worst part is that if you know history you know they are both correct.  There was a time when organized labor worked more like organized crime and men like Rockefeller, Carnegie, Ford and Edison defined greed.  That was a century ago and the stereotypes are perpetuated and amplified today with our instant communication society.

For over a century unions have been the counter to the industrialists and we in the union movement have succeeded in building a society where fairness and safety in the workplace is paramount to the mutual success of the members and the companies that employ us.

The most important part for both to remember is that companies need to make a profit for their shareholders and employees need to be able to purchase goods and services that support their employers. This is true whether you work for a mom and pop shop or a global enterprise: each needs the other to exist.  While it seems that this is stating the obvious, many men and women of good intention, in attempting to further the agenda of their organization, lose sight of this fundamental truth.

When management and labor work together there is nothing they cannot accomplish.

There are two upcoming events every member should circle on their calendar.  First is April 20th for the Annual Local 17 Retiree’s Dinner.  It will be held at Frank Sterle’s Slovenian Restaurant, 1404 East 55th Street.  Doors open at 5:30 with refreshments and a family style dinner at 6:30.  The cost at the door is $30 for active members and free for retirees.

The Annual Golf Outing will be June 2nd at Mallard Creek Golf Club, 34500 Royalton Road, Columbia Station.  Tee time is 10 am and includes golf, refreshments and dinner.  The cost is $90 per person.  To reserve your spot at both events, contact Mike Hogan at m.hogan67@yahoo.com or Business Agent Tim Moennich at 431-8808.



Where are they working?

Dave Lehotan and Kevin Driscoll doing a car station and call buttons at Margaret Wagner for Schindler,

Matt Weingart, Scott Hicks, Dave Bruner, Mark Byram, Ron Rittwage, Brian Owens, Cristino DeJesus and Chris Wyatt at the casino for Schindler,

Bob Myer and Tom Gombar installing a freight car at the art museum for Kone,

Bob Garman and Robin Eaton doing a mod at Breckenridge for Thyssen,

Dave Hess and Dave Adrian putting a car back in service at 1001 Euclid for Thyssen,

DJ Springs, Gregg Seaman, Joe Simcic, Ric Supinski, Ken Eaton and Tony Karovich at Eaton headquarters for Otis,

Charlie Donner and Randy Thompson installing a freight car at Bass Chemical for Thyssen,

Gerard Szemerkovsky and Ric Supinski at Warrensville YMCA installing a two-stop hydo for Otis,

Tom Kelly and Mark Mehnert doing a jack job at Hillcrest Hospital for Otis.


As of this writing there are 16 mechanics and two apprentices out of work.


Till next month…

Work smart, work safe and slow down for safety,




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