August ’13 Labor Citizen

Brothers and sisters:

 There are four members of IUEC Local 17 eligible for the Mechanics Exam to be held September 11.  As all journeymen know, the final exam of your apprenticeship is actually the easiest one you take.  The true test comes every day after that when you have to balance the pressures of safety on the job, company imposed time restraints and the desire to do your best as a union craftsman.  These are not always easy obstacles to overcome.  Sometimes, when the sun, moon and stars are all in alignment, the job moves forward flawlessly to the satisfaction of all.  Sometimes Mr. Murphy visits the job and the best laid plans fly out the window.

An airline mechanic friend once summarized the philosophy of the industry as “if you find it, fix it because that is one less thing to make the aircraft crash.”  For the most part, this culture of safety has resulted in the airline industry having a very good safety track record.  Because the elevator industry is unique in our scope of work and our exposure to the general public after the pile of parts becomes a living, breathing machine, we have a special responsibility to the riding public to ensure their mode of transportation is, first and foremost, safe and then reliable.  If this means taking extra time to reset the actuating pressure or speed of a safety device, take it.  If that means leaving a unit down until the proper adjustment can be made, take it.  It is far better to error on the side of safety than to leave a safety device designed to protect the public in a state that will never allow it to work.

Think about it like this:  when you’re done with a job, would you feel good about having your family ride than elevator or escalator?  If you have a nagging voice saying “no” then damn the yelling you’re going to get.  Do the job right.

There are still slots available for the welding class offered at Lincoln Electric leading to G3 and G4 certification.  If you are interested, then contact Business Agent Tim Moennich at 216-431-8088 or email him at

NEIEP is rolling out two new hands-on labs for apprentices and mechanics.  They cover hydraulic valve simulations, similar to the hydraulic controller lab you are familiar with, and a freight door lab based on the Peelle door system.

The fall semester will start on August 12th.  Letters informing all apprentices of their class assignments should have been received by now.  If you haven’t received a letter, then call Tim at the hall.

Striking IUEC locals in Ontario province reached an agreement on June 28th to end their two-month long walkout.  The solidarity locals 50, 90 and 96 showed got members the money they were looking for as well as protecting seniority and double time.  No matter when your contract expires, ever member of the trades should have a personal strike fund available in case of a stoppage

After 138 years in business, Edmonds Elevator, Cleveland’s oldest independent elevator company, was purchased by Thyssen Krupp effective July 1.  In a letter to Local 17, former Edmonds president Tina Schaffer said “I would like to thank you (Tim Moennich) and the union board members and local members for being so supportive and helpful while we transitioned through the personal and company loss of Big Mike (Schaffer).  You will never fully understand how much that meant to me but I assure you it did not go unnoticed.”  Big Mike Schaffer passed away last year.

Local 17 is left with six signatory companies:  the four majors (Kone, Otis, Schindler and Thyssen) and two independents, Maximum and Ross.

According to a letter from State Representative Sandra Williams there will be no further hearings on House Bill 151 and House Joint Resolution 5 the legislation designed to turn Ohio into a RTWFL state.

As of this writing there are 15 mechanics and four apprentices out of work.

 This is just a reminder that the first Labor Day Festival will be held at Euclid Memorial Park on August 31st from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm.  This is a family oriented event and everyone is encouraged to attend.

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