May ’18 Labor-Citizen

Brothers and sisters:

Just a few thoughts on Memorial Day…

We set aside Memorial Day to remember those that gave their last good measure and those that came home that have since passed on. Those that have served know that not all wounds are visible and many of the brothers and sisters they stood arm in arm with continue to fight a battle everyday with memories and demons on times past.

Two years ago I was riding Murray from Pittsburgh to Washington DC along the Great Allegheny Passage and C&O Canal when just past the Mason-Dixon Line I ran into Marty Wills (USMC) who was walking from Muskegon, Michigan to Camp Lejune, North Carolina to draw attention to the 22 veterans that commit suicide everyday. It was humbling to hear his story and even more humbling to think about those who survived the war zone and succumbed to the demons only they could see.

To those reading this that served in any capacity in the military, thank you for your service. Without people like yourself, America would never have become the great country that she is. To those of you that served in a war zone, I extend my most sincere gratitude and thankfulness that you returned home from your service to your family and are able to work in the best trade in the trades.

Take time to talk with these brothers and sisters.

Take time to hear their stories.

No one needs to make that number 23.

Congratulations go out to Joe Gauker for passing the Mechanics Exam. As I always say, the Mechanics Exam is the only unbiased evaluation of your knowledge of the trade you will ever have. Work smart and work safe!

Starting this fall there will be three apprentice classes to reduce the class size and give more opportunities for individualized instruction. I am also pleased to say that I am joining the instructing team. As of this writing I do not know how I will be used but, I am looking forward to the challenge of passing on what little I know to the next generation of constructors.

Two issues arose over the past month worth passing along regarding the contract and work we claim. A company was going to send two helpers to unload a truck while their mechanics were in training. The supervisor calling it in said it “wasn’t a big deal because it would be unloaded by a Lull anyway.” This is not the right answer. We unload the trucks, not the other trades or company drivers. Second, if drilling a hole is sub-contracted out a mechanic must be on the job the entire time including the assembly and disassembly of the rig.

Know your contract and know what it means. Do not give up our work.

Congratulations to NEIEP and Work Preservation on their outstanding job at the Ohio State House highlighting the training each and every elevator constructor must go through to be come a mechanic and the continuing education available to them. The program targeted Ohio’s House and Senate members as well as the staff of the Ohio Department of Commerce Industrial Compliance Division and was meant to support efforts to pass the Elevator Safety Bill through the legislature. Currently 32 states have licensing of elevator constructors.

The Brothers and Sisters of Local 17 send their condolences to the family of Brother Allan Greene who passed away March 21st.

As of this writing there is one mechanic and one apprentice on the bench.

Until next month…

Work smart, work safe and slow down for safety.

Don
DKnapik@windstream.net