August ’13 Elevator Constructor

Brothers and sisters:

 In June, the Ohio State Building Trades introduced Matt Szollosi as the executive director of ACT Ohio, their watchdog for the state building and construction trades.  Szollosi is a former four-term member of the Ohio House of Representatives and a managing partner in a Toledo law firm specializing in labor law.  As director his main duties will be to lobby the legislature to support the labor related issues that affect ACT Ohio’s 120,000 union members.  The organization has a website,, to keep union members and their families updated on the latest labor news from around the state and the nation.  There is a link to their website at the local’s website,, in the union links page.

By the time you read this, the time to request an application for the local’s apprenticeship program will be past and we will be eagerly awaiting the slotting process for the new list of probationary apprentices.  Good luck to all.

The month of June was a deadly one for Schindler and the IUEC as we lost two union brothers to workplace related accidents.  As a result of these tragic events, 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.  The elevator trade has its 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 mechanics who apprentice us.  This is why it is vitally important that every mechanic that has a probationary takes the time to teach them the safe way to ply our 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 what part of the business you are involved in one thing is true:  being a fatality is not the way to be remembered.

Where are they working?

Charlie Donner and Randy Thompson installing a two-stop hydro at Westlake High School for Thyssen,

Jeff Ward and Tom Peska installing a two-stop traction at Hillcrest Hospital for Otis,

Bob Meyer and Paul Scheutzow replacing oil lines at three cars at University Square for Kone,

Neil Beechuk and Nick Meyer doing a mod at Rocky River Professional Building for Thyssen,

John Brunner and Jim Rodgers doing a tear out at Parkwood Apartments for Schindler,

Matt Pinchot and Ric Supinski doing a three-car mod at Metro Hospital for Otis,

Ken Leonard and Lemroy Hurd doing service work at Cleveland Thermal for Edmonds,

Scott Villanueva and Jonathon Koch doing a mod at 900 Euclid for Otis,

Jim Archer and Chris Dejesus doing a mod at Easterly Sewage for Schindler,

Todd Kemp and Max Desotell doing a jack job at Marcel Apartments for Edmonds.

Local 17 would like to extend their condolences to the families of retired Brother Jim Moore who passed away from cancer and Brother Doug LaFontaine whose father Jim also passed away this last April.  The local also extends their most sincere condolences to the families of Brothers Don White (Local 8) and Ron Zimbro (Local 10) both of whom were killed on the job.

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

Till next month…

Work smart, work safe and slow down for safety.


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