November ’13 Labor Citizen

Brothers and sisters,

 IUEC Local 17 currently has ten apprentices enrolled in the program.  Instructor Jerry Rietz has six in his 100 series class and Rick Meyer has four in his 500 series class.  Instructor John Taylor is currently teaching a 36-hour class in DC motor and generator theory.  The class covers components of the DC generator and motor, the different types of motors and generators as well as maintenance and service of these ubiquitous pieces.

There are also still opening for the welding class offered through NEIEP and Lincoln Electric.  We have ten spots open as of this writing and we need twenty total in order to schedule the class.  If you have any questions about this or any other continuing education opportunity, call Business Agent Tim Moennich at 216-431-8088 or at TMoennich@iueclocal17.org.

The special called meetings for the nomination, election and installation of officers 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 annual Children’s Christmas Party 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.  To reserve your spot contact Entertainment Chairman Mike Hogan at 26962 Southwood Lane, Olmsted Township, Ohio  44138 or via email at M.Hogan67@yahoo.com.  Deadline for responses is November 22, 2013.

While this year’s political season just wrapped up with the election held on November 5th, the fight next year will be to get labor friendly candidates elected to the Ohio legislature and congressional delegations.  The math is very simple.  Democrats are out numbered 60 to 39 in the House, 23 to 10 in the Senate and 13 to five in the Congressional delegations.  This inequity is due to the gerrymandering done by the Kasich administration after the 2010 census to turn Ohio into a red state at both the state and federal level.  We need to go no further than SB 5 to see that the plan was to turn back collective bargaining rights first in the public sector and then in the private through right-to-work-for-less amendments sealed into the state constitution.  Luckily the latest RTWFL push failed to gather enough signatures to make to the ballot this cycle and would be doubtful for the next cycle due to the overwhelming turnout against SB 5.  This is why identifying and supporting candidates that support labor-related issues is so very important.

ACT-Ohio Director Matt Szollosi is meeting with Ohio representatives to find which ones stand strong on the labor related issues like PLA’s, Davis-Bacon and RTWFL.  Recently, Lorain Republican Gayle Manning worked on a plan to deal with Kroger’s going non-union on capital improvements at their stores.  Also, the Cleveland School system’s John Marshall High School improvements were turned around to the tune of $20 million worth of work for the Cleveland building trades.

This is why it is important to register to vote, be informed about the positions of the candidates and vote for those that will support labor.  To that end, Business Agent Tim Moennich has voter registration cards available at the hall.  If you are not registered, register and vote in the next election.  There are those Republicans out there that are Republicans because it was the only way to win their seat so, do not be afraid to ask questions about where they stand on labor-related issues.

Finally, for the IUEC members, there is a card on the back of the Standard Agreement that authorizes the company to withhold an amount of your choice for the National Elevator Constructor Political Action Committee.  A five cent withholding works out to about $100 a year.  This is one way to be sure your voice is heard on the state and national level.

Safety is, as always, an ongoing issue.  The International recently reached an agreement with Schindler Elevator on a set of enforcement guidelines for their safety policy.  Since the IUEC is on a record pace for fatalities in 2013 General President Frank Christensen feels we need to do something different.  The discipline outlined in the agreement is progressive, but ramps up quickly if further infractions of the policy are noted.  The important takeaway is that no matter where you work or in what phase of the building trades, follow all of your company and site safety policies.  Not only does it give you safer working conditions, by taking the time to follow them it reinforces good behavior that will allow you to go home at night.

As of this writing there are 18 mechanics and two apprentices on the bench.