May ’13 Elevator Constructor

Brothers and sisters:

As I said in my April article, we in Local 17 are blessed with having seven probationaries in our local.  At the March meeting, Business Agent Tim Moennich addressed them as they sat in on their first meeting of the local.

“In our collective bargaining agreement the probationary period has been extended to from six months to twelve.  The Executive Board decided that the probationary apprentices should attend the next six union meetings as part of their education in what it means to be a union member.

All seven are here tonight.

Welcome to what we all hope is the first meeting of what we all hope is a long career as an elevator constructor.  The International Union of Elevator Constructors as the most highly skilled membership in the building trades and we take great pride in the fact we are the highest paid trade with the best benefits in the industry.  These great benefits of health care, pension, annuity and 401 k were started by all the hard working elevator constructors that have and do now work in this great union.

You should know that the companies just do not give us these benefits. The IUEC negotiated with the companies on our behalf to secure them for past, present and future generations of elevator constructors.  To maintain them, we have a responsibility to keep up with our craft through education.  In other words, we have to continue to be the best at what we do.  This means as you start your career putting in the time and effort to be the best elevator constructor for the good of the union, your company and yourself and then keep learning through continuing education opportunities the union makes available.

To reach retirement we need to remember to be safe at all times.  This means you are responsible for your own safety and that of everyone around you.  We are being pushed by the companies to do more with less and do it faster than before but this MUST NOT result in an untimely injury or death.  You have a responsibility to yourself, your family, your friends, your company and your union to work safe.

It is OK to be proud of the company you work for.  You cannot forget that they pay your wages and allow you to practice your trade.  At the end of the day, every brother and sister in this local must be a member of Local 17 first and then an employee of their company.  Anything you get, wages, benefits, vacations, now or in the future depends on the strength of your union.  Part of the way to do this is protecting Article IV, the Work We Claim, and assisting each other in securing employment, engaging in education, brotherhood and politics.

I wish every brother and sister in the International a long and prosperous career as an elevator constructor. 

Remember, we got into this trade for a better life… not a shorter one.”

I am very pleased to report that Local 17 Business Agent Tim Moennich has been named as a trustee of NEIEP by International General President Frank Christensen.  He will be one of four union and four company representatives that will set the direction for the educational organization.

To the mechanics working with probationaries — you have a special responsibility to teach them the RIGHT and SAFE ways to work.  You are their first teachers in the trade and the impression you make will be carried with them for their careers.

Local 17 sends their condolences to the families of retired Brother Dan Tomon who passed away February 17 and Brother Keith Triner whose mother passed away.

As of this writing there are nine mechanics on the bench.

Till next month,

Work smart, work safe and slow down for safety,

Don

Dknapik@windstream.net