December ’13 Labor Citizen

Brothers and sisters:

To those enrolled in the apprenticeship program, makeup classes will be scheduled in the near future so watch this space and the local website, iueclocal17.org, for updates.

John Taylor is busy teaching the DC motor generator class.  This is the expanded version of the NEIEP class we took as second year helpers/apprentices.  It dives deeper into the relationship of these ubiquitous pieces we work on every day and is worth the time to explore further.  If you missed this opportunity, then go to the NEIEP website, neiep.org, and check for the online version of the course.  It is well worth your time.

IUEC Local 17 recently completed their apprenticeship application process for the new hiring list.  He list will be available soon to the companies and everyone who participated should be receiving a letter from the JATC on their slot.  If you had a family member or friend who applied you can call the hall to see where they slotted.  Best of luck to all those who applied to work in this great trade.

This is a reminder that the December 13th and January 10th meetings are mandatory and non-attendance will result in a $20 fine.

On Friday, April 18th, IUEC Local 17 will honor its retired members at Frank Sterle’s Slovenian Restaurant, 1401 East 55th Street, Cleveland.  Refreshments start at 5:30 with dinner served at 6:30.  This is a members only event.  The cost is $30 per person for active members and free for retirees.  Please send your reply to Entertainment Chairman Mike Hogan, 26962 Southwood Lane, Olmsted Township, Ohio  44138 no later than April 1.

It is with great sadness that I have to report an on the job death of a Brother working in Local 21 (Dallas/Fort Worth).  Brother Richard Sotelo was a mechanic working for Thyssen-Krupp and was killed on a late night callback.  He was 45 years old.  Ours is a very dangerous business and it is the responsibility of everyone to work smart, work safe and slow down for safety.  As Business Agent Tim Moennich has said many times “we came into this business for a better life, not a shorter one.”

Work outside of Cleveland is still not where everyone would like it to be. Out of six locals reporting at the Tri-State meeting in November, only Akron and Detroit reported full-employment.  Toledo, Columbus and Cincinnati reported respectively 10, five and 20 out of work while Cleveland currently has 21 on the bench.

To improve this situation, Tim and Local 45 (Akron) Business Agent Dave Morrow held a meeting at Canton Elevator with signatories from Akron and Cleveland to discuss the Residential Lift Program and Industry Advancement Program available through the Elevator Industry Work Preservation Fund (EIWPF).  The EIWPF is a cooperative between the International and signatory companies to address safety related issues, maintain and increase the market share of signatory companies and train local committees in methods to bring our unorganized brothers into the IUEC fold.

The Residential Lift Program is designed to subsidize the installation of elevators and lifts in homes and the IAP helps offset the monthly maintenance contract of units recovered from unorganized companies.  Together they give the IUEC an opportunity to enter the home lift market which is dominated by unorganized installers and put our salesmen on even footing when working to recover units.

These efforts and those of Area Organizer Jim Lowery were the subject the Lowery’s visit to the November union meeting.  Two of the biggest battles he talked about were recovering the units from the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) and attempting to organize Delaware Elevator, a non-union company based in Salisbury, MD.  The issue with WMATA stemmed from the split it had from Westinghouse doing the maintenance on their over 800 unit system.  The Authority formed its own maintenance department for the systems elevators and escalators and had a significant crew in place to work on the units.  Unfortunately, these technicians were not fully schooled in the trade and the problems in the system multiplied.  Recently when an escalator crashed at 5:30 am, the start of the rush hour, Local 10 had out of work members passing handbills by 6:30 am questioning the safety of the systems vertical transportation equipment.  Schindler Elevator has since secured work for upgrades, repairs and modernizations to the escalators and elevators in the WMATA system.  This will hopefully result in more Local 10 members going back to work.

The fight with Delaware Elevator has been a little more intense.  More of the effort has been to talking to the employees about the benefits of an IUEC membership and all that it entails (health and welfare, retirement, annuity, 401K, education and continuing education).  Because of the size of the company, this has become a long term battle for Lowery and the International.

Locally he talked about Gable Elevator and the most recent effort to organize them into the IUEC family.  While the last effort was not successful, the Local formed a Volunteer Organizing Committee (VOC) to explore ways to bring Gable into the fold.  On behalf of the Committee, if anyone reading this finds Gable working on one of their jobs, please contact Business Agent Tim Moennich at 216-431-8088, through the website at iueclocal17.org or by email at TMoennich@iueclocal17.org.  Any member who would like to be a part of this committee, please feel free to contact Tim.

In other news, the Elevator Contractors of America (ECA) signed a safety agreement that is identical to the one agreed to by the International and Schindler Elevator.  This agreement outlines so-called “GO/NO GO” situations and progressive discipline for violating the agreement.  The ECA is a group representing independent elevator signatory companies across the US and Canada and bargains with the IUEC on their behalf.

The International also signed an agreement with Otis regarding flat travel cables used to connect communication between the elevator car and controller.  Otis may ship the flat cables with the jacket removed from the controller side but not from the car side.  If you encounter the car side being stripped back, call the hall to find out what to do.

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

Work smart, work safe and slow down for safety,

Don

DKnapik@windstream.net