October ’13 Labor Citizen

Brothers and sisters:

 This has been a very busy month, so let’s get too it…

Every member of IUEC Local 17 should have received a letter from the local about two important upcoming events.  The first is the special called meetings for the nomination, election and installation of officers.  These dates are November 8th, December 13th and January 10th.  Special called meetings are mandatory and there is a $20 fine for not attending.  No excuses will be accepted unless you call the hall prior to each meeting.

The second event is the annual Children’s Christmas Party which will be held on Saturday December 21st at 1pm at the hall located at 3250 Euclid Avenue.  Children up to and including 12 years old will receive gifts.  Mothers are asked to bring baked goods and beverages will be provided.  There is a form at the bottom of the letter to return to Entertainment Chairman Mike Hogan at 26962 Southwood Lane, Olmsted Township, Ohio  44138 or contact him via email at M.Hogan67@yahoo.com.  Deadline for responses is November 22, 2013.

There are still spots available for the welding class offered through NEIEP and Lincoln Electric.  This gives the participant the opportunity to qualify for a 3G (vertical up) and 4G (overhead) certification.  For more information contact Business Agent Tim Moennich at 216-431-8088 or through email at TMoennich@iueclocal17.org.

On September 12th, IUEC Local 17 administered written tests to 100 candidates for the apprenticeship program.  Interviews are currently slated for the last week of October.

Tim reported at the September local meeting about the IUEC national meeting he attended.  One point brought up was the national meeting was the National Elevator Political Action Committee (NECPAC) check-off form in the back of the agreement book.  This is a voluntary program where the companies will take the money directly out of your check and deposit it in the fund.  The form has a box five or ten cents per hour or you can donate any amount you like.  A five cent check-off at 2000 hours a year would result in a $100 donation and ten cents per hour would be $200 a year.  This is a solid way to fund an organization that will make your voice heard with the candidates and work to elect those that have our best interest at heart.

There was a victory for organized labor involving the Dayton racino project.  Penn Gaming, the developers of the project, took the stand that the job would be prevailing wage but when several bids were awarded to non-union contractors, Dale Herzog, the Executive director of the Northwest Building Trades, called a meeting with Penn Gaming, Turner Construction and 40 building trades representatives.  At the meeting, Penn expressed frustration with the lack of bidders on the project which resulted in the non-union contractors getting the bids.   ACTOHIO Director Matt Szollosi suggested using a PLA (project labor agreement) to bring in more represented labor.  This arrangement gave Penn more bidders and resulted in union contractors getting the work.

There is a link to ACTOHIO’s website on the Union Links page of the local’s website, iueclocal17.org.

If you work for Kone, then keep an eye on the vacation pay for travel time during working hours reported on your pay stub.  It has been discovered that Kone is not always paying the proper vacation hours for travel time.  If you notice an issue, report it to the hall.

Schindler settled with IUEC Local 17 on an issue where a contractor unloaded a truck instead of a Schindler team.  The company paid a four team-hours penalty to the local.

The International and Schindler reached an agreement on mechanics that are working as final acceptance testers.  They may fill out the Schindler SAIS form by checking off each item in compliance.  If an item does not comply then it must not be reported as being compliant.  Schindler instituted this as a quality control measure to ensure a reliable installation as well as a check of critical safety systems.

IUEC Local 17 sends it’s condolences to the families of retired Brother Dan Zupancic who lost his wife and the family of Brother Tim Keating who passed away in a car accident September 1st.

As of this writing there are 17 mechanics and two apprentices on the bench.

Intellectual Competence

I recently received an email from Terry Horner of Otis talking about the paper is son wrote for his Senior Experience before graduating from Walsh Jesuit High School.  The Senior Experience is a three week period where seniors shadow in a business or industry to gain practical knowledge they would not otherwise receive in the classroom.

Terry’s son David shadowed Mike Pytash of Otis’ Cleveland office as he exposed him to the ups and downs (pun intended) of the elevator business.  As I read through his piece, there was one section that struck me as particularly insightful.  In it David talked about intellectual competence and what it means for the business as a whole.

“Becoming intellectually competent in the elevator industry can be tough as there is no real formal instruction manual on elevators.  Although there are books such as “Elevators 101” they cannot really teach you the things you need to know about elevators to efficiently sell, install, maintain, or service them.  There are books on elevators that will explain their components and the functions of those components, but they do not provide the in-field experience one will gain by working with someone who is very “elevator smart”. 

“The true intellectual competency comes from years of experience within an office setting being surrounded by those who know their stuff or by working in the field as a mechanic or adjuster.  When a person gets hired by an elevator company they are taught in the classroom and in the field by those who have the most experience and prove themselves to be the most intellectually competent.  When one is not intellectually competent it is common for them to be not employed by an elevator company as the elevator industry, in every aspect, is highly competitive. 

“Intellectual competence is important not only to the business of an elevator company but to the safety of the public.  When one works on or designs an elevator the most potent, focused thought must be channeled to the completion of the task.  Without focus work becomes sloppy, and when work is sloppy, people’s lives are in danger.  When one looks for an elevator they look for not only the best quality in the product, but the best safety.  If an elevator company’s product becomes notorious with being unsafe business for that company will be effectively non-existent.  Intellectual competency is important to the survival of every aspect of the elevator industry.” 

This part caught my eye because it talks about everyone in an organization cooperating to give their customer (the general contractor, building owner or management company, tenants and the general riding public) the best and safest experience when riding vertical transportation equipment.  It also talks about how if one aspect is lacking the entire organization suffers.

I worked many years in both inside and outside sales before starting in the building trades.  I know first-hand how much effort it takes to get a new customer and how easy it is to lose them when one part of your organization does not communicate with another.

If you take a minute and think about everything that is required for us in the trades to go out and do a job (starting with sales, office support, materials purchasing, transportation, tooling licensing, wages, overhead, coordination with other trades, etc…) it becomes very quickly apparent that we are all a team pushing for mutual success,

Wherever David Horner’s life takes him, I hope he remembers that point. I hope we all remember it.