November ’14 Labor Citizen

Brothers and sisters:


As you may know, Local 17 recently formed the Volunteer Organizing Committee to assist the International in an effort to organize the unrepresented elevator constructors working in the Cleveland area.


The VOC was initially formed in September 2013. Our first priority was to educate those attending the meetings about the laws governing organizing and developing the tools and skills needed to legally move forward in our effort. In late February of this year, the group began hand billing the entertainment district on East 4th Street and the Holiday Inn Express on Euclid. These sites were chosen because all the units except for the one in Pickwick and Frolic are maintained by non-signatory Gable Elevator. We have also hand billed the new Uptown development in University Circle, again, because these units were installed and, except for one car, maintained by Gable.


The group has attended school board meetings in Beachwood, Maple Heights, Solon and Amherst to encourage those districts to use our signatory companies. Those meetings have produced positive feedback from the school boards and we look forward to them again employing our members to service their equipment.


It came to the attention of the Local that the general contractor for the renovation of the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections building on the corner of Euclid and East 30th awarded the elevator modernization contract to Gable. After extensive investigation and debate the Committee decided to picket the job based on Gable’s record of paying 18 to 45 percent of the current wages and benefits paid to represented members on non-prevailing wage jobs. After further consultation with the International it was decided that picketing would not be the best way to move forward toward organizing Gable.


This does not mean that our effort is over, it means that our original course was correct. It is the mission of the VOC to educate the unorganized elevator constructors working in our jurisdiction about the benefits of union membership and offer them a path toward membership. To that end we will always move forward.


Congratulations are in order for Tom Peska on his successful passing of the Mechanics Exam. As every journeyman in the trades knows, being elevated to that status only is the beginning of the hard part of your career. The rest is what you make of it through hard work and continuing education. The best journeymen in the trades are the tones that push themselves to keep learning and pass that knowledge on to their apprentices and other journeymen. Every company, every trade has those that are the go-to guys when there is a problem on a job. Every tradesman’s goal should be to be that go-to guy.


IUEC Local 17 is putting together a welding class for the weeks of January 12th and 19th at the world headquarters of Lincoln Electric in Euclid. If you have not taken this class it is a 40 hour hands-on class in stick welding in the 3G and 4G positions. If you are interested, please call Business Manager Tim Moennich at 216-431-8088 or email him at There is also a signup sheet for a scaffolding class. If your scaffolding card is not up to date, contact Tim to get into this valuable class.


On Wednesday, November 19 Joe Rapine and Jimmy Dimmle from Elevator Industry Work Preservation will be in town to give a class on the role that unions play in the workplace and the history of the IUEC. Everyone is invited to attend at the classroom at 24th and Superior at 5 pm.


All active and retired union members can receive a 15% discount on their cell phone bills through AT&T as part of their Union Plus benefits. For more information, go to either and click on the Links page or go to the International’s site,
The IUEC also has an app available for iPhone and Android platforms. The app is available through the Apple Store or Google Play sites. The app gives quick access to all the current information available through the IUEC as well as contact information and members-only pages.


The IUEC Safety Committee is constantly updating the information on the International website under the Safety/Alerts page. Please check it out on a regular basis to see what applies to you in your daily activities.


The November 14th, December 12th and January 9th meetings are mandatory for the nomination, election and installation of officers. Fines will be assessed for non-attendance without timely and valid notification.


The Local 17 Annual Children’s Christmas Party will be held December 6th at 1 pm at the hall located at 3250 Euclid Avenue. All members and their families are invited to attend. There will be family-oriented entertainment as well as a visit from Santa Clause for the children. Please mark the date on your calendar and plan on attending.


The Brothers of IUEC Local 17 send their condolences to the family of retired Brother Tom Ross who passed away September 30. Tom was the founder of Ross Elevator Company.


As of this writing there are 14 mechanics and one apprentice on the bench.

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