January ’14 Labor Citizen

Brothers and Sisters:

IUEC Local 17 sends it most sincere condolences to the family of Jacob Tholl, of cement masons Local 404 who passed away December 3rd.  Tholl was electrocuted when the bucket lift he was in touched a power line at University Hospital.  He leaves a wife, five children and a grandchild.  Please remember his family in your prayers.

Mechanics in Local 17 received a 67 cent an hour increase in their pay effective January 1.  The employer contributions to the benefits package increased $2.27 an hour to $29.355.   The IRS mileage rate for 2014 is 56 cents per mile.  This is a half-cent decrease from 2013.

KONE employees should have received a letter explaining the impact of the straight time hours incorrectly reported in 2013 and how to check to see if you were shorted on time.

MassMutual, the 401(k) provider to the IUEC and its members, is continuing its offerings into retirement planning.   The webinars cover aspects of pre-planning for retirement and how to make smarter choices and answers common questions you may have as retirement looms.  Instructions on how to be a part of this webinar are in the December issue of the Elevator Constructor.

Schindler has a new vehicle policy that Business Manager Tim Moennich has advised members not to sign.

One of the resources that every local that is a member of ACTOHIO has available is a contractor report on unorganized companies.  The report includes information on OSHA violations, prevailing wage complaints, workman’s compensation policies, NLRB cases, contractor judgments and liens and criminal filings against the companies.  These can be powerful tools when seeking to turn around jobs that have been given to non-union companies.

On November 18th, IUEC Local 17 had the first meeting of its Volunteer Organizing Committee and Brother Don Knapik agreed to be the chairman.  The initial focus of the VOC is to organize Gable Elevator, the unorganized company doing work in our area.  There is a second meeting scheduled for January 13 at 5pm at the school located on Superior Avenue.  If you would like to be part of the committee, please contact Tim at 216-431-8088, email him at TMoennich@iueclocal17.org.  If any brother or sister in any other trade knows where a non-signatory elevator company is working, please feel free to contact Tim.  Your help is always appreciated.

About a year ago, Business Manager Tim Moennich gave me a copy of a little book, more of a pamphlet really, titled “The Union Worker Bible” edited by labor consultant and arbiter E. Ronald Fishman of USC.  In it the author talks about various subjects in the union, member, company relationship and what the union really does for its membership.  There is one section that I believe bears reprinting about our responsibilities as union members.

“Because you are a union member, you have many advantages and privileges.  However, every mature individual knows that privileges mean responsibilities.

Your duties to your union are as follows:

·         Practice as well as preach unionism.

·         Your demands should be fair.

·         Judge your fellow worker by his actions, not by his color, creed or religion.

·         Cooperate with your union representatives by giving them all the facts concerning a grievance.

·         Support your leadership by never doing anything that will lose respect for your union.

We cannot expect cooperation from the management unless we ourselves are unified, and all are willing to do their part.” 

If your local or Business Agent does not have this little book available to their members, I would recommend making a resolution at your next meeting to purchase one for every member and pass it out as soon as possible.

The local sends its congratulations to Charlie Donner on his retirement.

As of this writing there are 16 mechanics and two apprentices on the bench.

Until next month,

Work smart, work safe and slow down for safety.

Don

DKnapik@windstream.net