August 2015 Labor Citizen

Brothers and sisters:

NEIEP has announced that IUEC members can now earn their OSHA 10 and OSHA 30 cards through the online course offered by the training organization. The 10-hour and 30-hour classes must be paid for upfront but the cost will be reimbursed once the member passes the class. To sign up or find further information, contact Business Manager Tim Moennich or go to neiep.org.

Fall semester will be starting soon for the apprentices enrolled in the program. There are several new probationaries entering the trade and they all require guidance. While it is up to NEIEP to supply the apprentices with the formalized part of their training, it is important that the mechanics they work with support them by teaching the way to do things right and safe. If you have a probationary apprentice and you have a question about the work rules, please consult your copy of the Standard Agreement or call Tim for clarification if there is a conflict between the agreement and your work assignment for the day.

At the July meeting, IUEC organizer Jim Lowery spoke to the members about the success and challenges of organizing non-signatory companies. “One of the challenges we have as a union is breaking through the lies told to those we want to organize about what union membership is about” he told the assembled group. To counter that, the International along with NEIEP put together a series of videos featuring members stripped from non-signatories telling their stories about what there thoughts were before becoming members, the reasons they joined and their feelings after becoming members of the IUEC.
“The amazing part,” according to Lowery “was that they all said the same thing even though they didn’t know each other.” He told the story about one new member who was injured at home shortly after signing on and instead of sitting at home and worrying about how the bills were going to get paid, the union stepped in with $625 per week relief until he went back to work. “He said that at his former employer that would have never happened.”

He also told of an election the union lost at Metro Elevator. In the election the union came up one vote short of winning recognition. One of the issues the workers faced was they were not getting proper credit for the dollars paid into Social Security on their behalf by the company as well as their own contribution for the full amount of the dollars they actually earned. After the election, the union interceded on their behalf and the company is currently under investigation by the IRS and Department of Labor for unfair labor practices.

Lowery scored a win for Local 37 (Columbus) when he recruited a route maintenance mechanic from Twinsburg, Ohio based non-signatory Gable Elevator. The 30 year-old mechanic, with eight years in the trade split between Gable and Oracle Elevator, started last week.

There were also two hand billings done by the VOC this past month. The first was at the Board of Elections job being done by Gable. The second was at CMHA’s Riverview Apartments on West 25th Street across from Lutheran Hospital. The hand hill asked residents and visitors to ask questions about the qualifications of the elevator constructors the county agency is planning on using for the modernization of its five elevators.

The brothers and sisters of IUEC Local 17 wish to again extend their gratitude to those in the other trades who engaged the employees of the non-signatory companies in the area. It does make a difference. The local signatories are Otis, Schindler, Maximum, Kone, Thyssen and Ross Elevator.

At the end of July, Brother Brian McTaggert left his position as route mechanic for Thyssen and local union president to take a job as maintenance superintendent. Brother John Patton assumed his duties. Patton’s replacement has yet to be named.

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