Brothers and sisters:
In the time I have been fortunate enough to be your correspondent to the Constructor and the Labor Citizen, I have at times shared too much about my personal life. It’s not about my adventures with Murray or the restoration of Bridget, it’s the revelations about my familial life that causes pause around my dinner table.
When my wife was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis in April of 2005 her doctors prescribed interferon as a way of slowing the progression of her disease. In 2013 the benefits office paid $70,500 just for the interferon and other medications to treat her symptoms. Over the course of the last ten years, a conservative estimate puts the payout for her medication, doctor’s bills and testing at about $750,000. How many members have a million dollar spouse or child?
She is why I get up in the morning. She is why I do all the overtime I do. She is why I do what I do for the union.
As this issue of the Elevator Constructor goes to print, Local 17 is preparing for its picket of the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections renovation. This action is something that the Local and Volunteer Organizing Committee have not taken lightly and has been a long time coming.
Gable has been operating for years in the home market and was not much of a rival until recently hiring away a salesman from Thyssen who took away enough work that Thyssen dropped a route. They have also been chipping away at Kone, Schindler and Otis, both here and in Local 45, with varying degrees of success. For many years on some construction jobs, the elevator constructors were the only organized trade on the job, now Gable will be the only unorganized company on the BOE job.
After the last VOC meeting, the question came up whether the card we all carry in our pockets is worth fighting for. Is it worth fighting for every retiree that came before us? Is it worth fighting so every wife; son and daughter can live a good healthy life without fear of financial catastrophe for seeking out medical professionals? Is it worth fighting for the people that fight for us? Is it worth fighting the lies that have been fed about unions and union membership? Is it worth all the effort to bring the unorganized into the fold? Can you honestly look into the eyes of your loved ones and tell them that they are not worth the fight?
You know where I stand.
Now stand with me.
On Wednesday, November 19th, Brothers Jimmie Dimmel and Joe Rapine from Work Preservation will be in town to give a presentation about the history of the IUEC and the struggles of the trade unions. The presentation starts at 5 pm at the school located at East 24th and Superior Avenue.
Where are they working?
Tom Gombar and Tim Moore at Life Care doing a door mod for Kone,
Jim Thompson and Joe Simcic doing a mod at South Pointe for Otis
John Goggin and Mike Hogan doing service work at the Hoyt Building for Schindler,
Dennis Dixon and Chris DeJesus doing a mod at Moreland Courts for Kone,
Gary Thompson and Ran Todd doing a mod at 1717 parking garage for Schindler,
Kevin Thomas and Pat McCann at Max Hayes installing a hydro for Schindler,
Joe Broz and Todd Kemp doing service work at the Solon Club Apartments for Thyssen,
Ken Bowles and Lucas Jenke at Hillcrest Hospital installing two cars for Otis,
Bill Yuhas and Kevin Driscoll installing three cars at Upper Chester Housing for Thyssen.
As of this writing there are eleven mechanics and one apprentice on the bench.
Till next month,
Work smart, work safe and slow down for safety.