March ’14 Labor Citizen

Brothers and Sisters:

Happy St. Patrick’s Day to all of our friends of Irish decent and those that, for one day, claim it!  This is the day that Cleveland wakes up from its long, cold winter’s slumber and dresses in the green of spring’s new birth.  And everyone, no matter where they or their ancestors hail from, are Irish for the day.  For the latest news on IUEC Local 17’s participation, visit our website, iueclocal17.org.

The April 11th union meeting will be a mandatory special called meeting to vote on resolutions involving Local 17’s Organizing Committee.  All meetings are at the hall located at 3250 Euclid Ave and start at 6 pm.  Fines will be assessed for non-attendance.

On the school side, all the apprentices passed their fall semester and by now are deep into the spring semester schooling.  Also, all the mechanics that took the motor generator class passed their final.  Congratulations to all.  Our educational opportunities are an important part of what separates us from our unorganized brothers and sisters.

Retired Brother John Taylor will be teaching a new class on microprocessor–based control systems.  These are the same systems we have seen on new construction and modernization for years.  The purpose of the class is to demystify the way these ubiquitous systems work.  It is a 24 hour class and delves into processor based systems, microprocessor circuits, maintenance and servicing.  If you are interested in the class please contact Business Manager Tim Moennich at 216-431-8088 or at TMoennich@iueclocal17.org.

The Union Sportsmen’s Alliance is holding its Second Annual Ohio State Conservation Dinner on March 14th in Columbus.  For more information go to unionsportsmen.org.

At the end of January, IUEC General President Frank Christensen attended the Tri-State meeting in Columbus.  He spoke on a couple of issues, the most important being safety on the job.  As a result of losing 45 brothers in ten years to accidents, the International set up a safety committee at the headquarters level to investigate all accidents and report on necessary safety improvements.  All of the members of the committee will be QEI certified.  Christensen has also asked that all accidents be reported to the International.  The International also sent a wristband to all members with the phrase “we came to this trade to have a better life not a shorter one.  In memory of our lost members.” The phrase is meant to remind everyone that one moment of inattention could cost you your life.

Christensen reported that the IUEC, NEIEP and the EIWPF are working together too aggressively capture the home elevator, sidewalk and handicap lift markets as well as the windmills that are going up all over the country.  This dovetails with Local 17’s efforts to organize several companies doing just that work in the Cleveland area.  If anyone sees one of these companies on a job, please call the hall.

On the subject of health and welfare, the union’s plan is firmly in the green zone while other trades plans are suffering.  As a side note, of the 15,000 retirees in the International only 6,000 participate in the health benefits.

On the work front, Akron and Columbus report full employment while Toledo and Cincinnati each have ten on the bench.  If you know anyone living in the Toledo or Columbus areas, these locals are currently running recruitment drives.

Local 17 sends its condolences to the family of Brother Jim Waleri whose brother unexpectedly passed away.

As of this writing there are 11 mechanics and one apprentice on the bench.

To all of our brothers and sisters… work smart, work safe and slow down for safety.

Don

Dknapik@windstream.net