July ’13 Labor Citizen

Brothers and sisters:

IUEC Local 17 is accepting applications for its apprenticeship program.  To be eligible applicants must be at least 18 years old, hold a high school diploma or GED, pass a written test and an oral interview given by the IUEC Local 17 Joint Apprenticeship Training Committee before being slotted for the list.  Those interested in becoming an apprentice must request an application from NEIEP Area Coordinator Jeff Burns, 433 Little Canada Road East, Little Canada, MN 55117.  All requests must be postmarked no later than July 10th.  If you have any questions, call Business Agent Tim Moennich at 216-431-8088 or email him at TMoennich@iueclocal17.org.  Good Luck.

There are still openings for the welding class to be held at the world headquarters of Lincoln Electric, the leading manufacturer of welding equipment and supplies located in Euclid, Ohio.  This is a two-week, 40 hour class that offers the welding student the opportunity for 3G (vertical up) and 4G (overhead) certification.  Do not miss this chance to learn or hone a valuable skill that can make you more employable.  For more information or to sign up, contact Tim at the hall.

The IUEC lost two brothers to fatal on the job accidents in June.  The first was Brother Don White a 63 year-old mechanic with Local 8 (San Francisco).  He was killed when a counterweight struck him while working on a ladder in the pit of a car at the new football stadium for the San Francisco ‘49er’s.

The second fatality was Brother Ron Zimbro from Local 10 (Washington DC).  He was on a late night/early morning callback where all the cars in a building were out of service.  He was somehow crushed between two cars while working on a divider beam.  He, too, was 63 and had 37 years in the business.  Both of these brothers worked for Schindler Elevator.

As a result of these tragic accidents, during the week of June 17th, Schindler performed a safety stand down in all US and Canadian offices to refocus its emphasis on safe work practices.  This included safety walks by superintendents, area and district managers as well as vice-presidents and concluded with presentations at each Schindler office the week of the 24th.

In the trades, accidents happen.  Each of our trades has their own unique set of dangers that we accept as real and respect for the damage they can inflict.  We become aware of them and learn the necessary steps to keep them at bay from the journeymen who apprentice us.  This is why it is vitally important that every journeyman that has a probationary takes the time to teach them the safe way to ply their trade.  We are the ones that they will reference as their careers grow, so give them a solid foundation of safe practices and reinforce them on a regular basis.

It does not matter whether you are an elevator constructor, iron worker, electrician, bricklayer, pipefitter or anyone working in the trades, one thing is true:  being a fatality is not the way to be remembered.

At the last meeting, Tim reminded all members that whenever they are on a job lasting longer than two day, start a new construction or modernization job or work out of town, they must call the hall to report where they are working.  They must also call in when starting a job that has a hydraulic cylinder hole dug or any other work being done by elevator constructors.

Also at the June meeting, Tim advised that no one at KONE should sign any form or volunteer for a drug test.  This has not been agreed to or approved by the IUEC.

Business Agent Tim Moennich was also a guest on 1490 AM WERE’s America’s Workforce Radio hosted by Ed “Flash” Ferenc.  During the interview they talked about the requirements for the apprenticeship program and the newly completed Medical Mart.  If you are interested in hearing Tim’s interview, go to iTunes and search for American Workforce Radio and download the May 31st podcast.  The show airs Monday through Friday from 4 to 5 pm.

Strike Update

As of this writing, three Canadian locals (Toronto, Hamilton and Ottawa, Ontario) are still on strike as talks have broken off with Thyssen, Otis, KONE and Schindler and no new talks are expected.

Our brothers and sisters to the north need our support and a strike relief fund has been established to aid members walking the picket lines.  Any individual or local can send a contribution to the Ontario Strike Fund, C/O IUEC Local 50, 400 Westnery Road, Ajax, Ontario, Canada, L156M6.

IUEC Local 17 would like to send its condolences to the familiy of Brother Jim Moore who passed away in late April and to Brother Doug LaFontaine whose father Jim LaFontaine also passed away.  Jim LaFontaine was the past president of Emco Elevators.

As of this writing there are 14 mechanics and five apprentices out of work.