October ’12 Elevator Constructor

Brothers and sisters:


I want to apologize to those that follow the events of Local 17 through these pages.  Due to a family conflict, my September article was not present in the Elevator Constructor.  I apologize for the omission.

Work here in Cleveland has been strong.  Every Local 17 member that wants to work is working.  Companies have started adding probationary apprentices from the list as well as bringing in brothers and sisters from out of town to work on much needed projects.  The Medical Mart, East Bank and Eaton headquarters projects are the largest employers for construction, and modernization work is picking up as well.  Service remains steady and maintenance… well, they are maintaining.

All in all, things in Cleveland have not looked this good for at least two years.  I believe I am speaking for everyone, management and labor alike, when I say that we are simultaneously breathing a sigh of relief that the worst is behind us and crossing our fingers to ensure it stays that way.

The first Classic Car and Bike Night held by Local 17 was a success for all that attended.  We had five cars and two bikes brought out for what turned out to be a phenomenally clear and warm night.  The food was grilled to perfection by Brian McTaggart, the pop was cold and the company of our fellow constructors made the night perfect by any measure.

All good things start small and I believe we have the start of a great event for a long time to come.  There are photos beside this article as well as others posted on the locals’ website, iueclocal17.org.  Check them out and plan on joining us next year with your classic or neoclassic ride.

The Election

As I sit here at the end of August, Hurricane Isaac is battering the Gulf coast as Mitt Romney is nominated by the GOP to be their standard bearer.  On the Democratic side, Barack Obama will be nominated next week in Charlotte, North Carolina for a second term.

No surprises either way.

I thought it interesting that in the midst of the Republican National Convention, Ohio Governor John Kasich was championing the recovery that is sweeping over the state.  The Cleveland Plain Dealer reported on Wednesday, August 29 that home prices have crept up and unemployment is below the national average.  Both are signs that there is a true recovery going on in the state.

Of course Kasich took credit for the turn around and, to be fair, he did inherit a bad situation.  His solution was SB5, the ill-conceived attack on public-sector collective bargaining rights.  That boondoggle was soundly trounced by voters 62 to 38 percent.  Then he lowered or eliminated state aid to counties, municipalities and schools.  So, in essence, he cut back funding the very people we rely on to keep us safe, pick up the trash and educate our children.  If you want to know more details, I suggest talking to your city councilman or school board member.

The 1851 Center for Constitutional Law failed in its attempt to put a measure on the ballot turning Ohio into a right-to-work-for-less state.  There may have been some back room conniving to keep it off the ballot since it was sure to bring out a heavy union vote to defeat it and, in the meantime, increase the vote for President Obama.  Keep your eyes and ears open on this one.

The attack ads on both sides are horrendous.  I encourage you to look closely at the disclaimers on the ads and find out about the organizations sponsoring them.  You may be surprised at who is behind these attacks.

I don’t know about you, but I am ready for this election to be over.


Till next month,

Work smart, work safe and slow down for safety,




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