May 2015 Labor Citizen

At the April meeting, retired NEIEP assistant director Joe Devlin stopped in to say hello and spend a few minutes talking to the members about all the continuing educational opportunities available. The most interesting benefit is the opportunity for mechanics to use their NEIEP credentials toward an associates or bachelors degree at over 100 accredited colleges and technical schools. Those applying for degree programs are eligible for up to 38 college credits. If you are a veteran, you can receive extra credits for your military service. For more information go to, click on About and go to College Options for NEIEP Graduates.

Also on the NEIEP front, area coordinator Jeff Burns was in town to attend a job fair at Polaris Career Center in Middleburg Heights. The job fair was sponsored by the Cuyahoga County Department of Job and Family Services. According to Burns the fair was well attended by people of all ages and he had a great time talking to prospective apprentices about the best trade in the trades.

IUEC Local 11 (Cincinnati) reported that Kone my not be paying benefits on straight time hours turned in under travel. If you work for Kone, please take a few minutes and check your stub versus your statement from the National Elevator Industry Benefits Plan to confirm you are receiving the proper payments toward your benefits.

There was a death in the IUEC family on Easter Sunday in Local 2 (Chicago). Kone mechanic Greg Sebahar was killed on a callback at a steel mill. The father of six was apparently struck by a counterweight as he peered in to a hatch after removing corrugated siding to gain access to the hoistway.

Being an elevator constructor is a very dangerous way to make a living. We do what we do and are constantly aware of the dangers that surround us but, it is our responsibility to do our work in a safe manner. Always be aware that machinery does not care that you are leaving on a vacation after work or meeting your loved ones for a family event over the weekend. Machinery will always win the fight. So when in doubt, lock it out and, as I say every month, slow down for safety.

IUEC organizer Jim Lowery was in town the last week of April for a planned meeting with non-signatory Gable Elevator. At the last minute Gable backed out of the meeting saying they were not interested in signing with the union. I know that I am preaching to the choir when I talk about all the benefits of working for a union company: the pay, the benefits, the security, the educational opportunities. There are three former IUEC members working for Gable that know exactly what they are missing out on by the company not being a signatory. There are three former brothers that know exactly the kind of benefits their coworkers are missing out on by not being a signatory. We look forward to bringing these former members back into the fold and adding their coworkers fully into the greatest trade in the trades.

The Volunteer Organizing Committee would like to thank all the brothers and sisters from the other trades that report when they find a non-signatory elevator company working on their job. These reports have been taken and some have been turned in to wins for our local companies.

Now, it is our turn to return the favor.

I’m asking the correspondents from the other trades to take a few words and list the signatory companies for their locals. The larger signatories are no secret but, many of the smaller firms may not be familiar. Please include the contact information for your Business Agent or Manager. The signatories to IUEC Local 17 are Kone, Maximum, Otis, Ross, Schindler and Thyssen-Krupp. You can contact Business Manager Tim Moennich at 216 431-8088 or email him at

By working together we are all stronger.

IUEC Local 17 would like to welcome our newest initiate Matt Harden to the fold. Matt is currently working in mods for Kone. If you see him out and about, give him your congratulations on getting into the best trade in the trades.

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

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