January ’19 Elevator Constructor

Happy New Year Brothers and Sisters!

I was recently listening to a program on NPR about safety in the workplace.  The report referenced mine worker safety and the general publics attitude toward safety in the trades.  The reporter said, with some sadness, that the general view is that when an accident happens that this is what the affected workers signed up for.  The subject of mine safety is a hot one since Don Blankenship, former CEO of Massey Energy, went to prison for blatantly disregarding OSHA and MSA regulations and ran for US Senate as a big backer of President Trump. 

No one needs to explain to the choir all that is wrong with the above paragraph. What it does highlight is the ignorance of the general public about safety in the workplace and the need of labor to educate about the dangers and the real need for effective safety regulations to minimize the risks to workers in all sectors.  This is were the organized building trades can make a case that working union means working safe.  The bleed over effect to other sectors can help organizing efforts across the board.

Let’s make 2019 a year of safety and safety education.

AFL-CIO, the gauntlet has been thrown down.  Pick it up.  

At the November meeting Sister Andrea Rodriquez reported on the Women Build Nations Conference held October 12-14 in Seattle, Washington.  Rodriguez and her husband, fellow Local 17 member Ernie were among the 130 attendees representing the IUEC at the conference.  Of the 2000 tradeswomen in attendance, 58 were working IUEC members.  “The incredible show of support from the IUEC is astounding but, the sisterhood within the IUEC and combined trades alike was like nothing I’d ever experienced.”

Attendees had a selection of trade specific caucuses as well as CORE classes on labor history, collective bargaining and other labor related subjects.

“Knowing we are not forging through this as alone as many of us thought has been an empowering experience.  Making connections and bonding with sisters that share in our realities has created a force that will forever change the culture of our trades.” 

Where are they working?

Ed Gimmel and Brian Chambers doing full load tests at Virgil Brown Center for Schindler,

Kenny Jung and Brian Chambers decommissioning a car at PNC for Schindler,

Scott Hicks and Ernie Rodriguez at Residence Inn in Middleburg Heights installing a four-stop car for Schindler,

Brett O’Laughlin and Joel Ryes at North Coast Harbor installing an EcoSpace for Kone,

Matt Pinchot and John Smith at Deville Apartments in Beachwood doing a two-car mod for Otis,

Anthony Metcalf is running a car at Ursuline College for Thyssen,

Brendan Hyland and Russel Barrows at Beacon installing three cars for Kone,

Drew Williams and Jon McCuan at Beacon doing a two-car mod for Kone,

Jim Ehrbar and Mark Hamula at Crown Plaza in Middleburg Heights doing a mod for Gable,

DJ Spring and Deven Shields at the Cleveland Clinic Dental School installing three 4-stop cars for Otis,

Dave Loudermilk running a car for Thyssen,

Chris Scholle and Jason Saunders installing two cars at Tri-C for Thyssen,

Chris Scholle and Jason Saunders at Barbara Booker installing a three-stop hydro for Thyssen,

Jim Thompson and Steve Keating at 740 Euclid Parking Garage doing a two-car mod for Otis.

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

The Brothers and Sisters of Local 17 send their condolences to the families of Brother Jeff Ford whose father passed away and retired Brother John Lopiccolo whose wife passed away.

Until next month,

Work smart, work safe and slow down for safety.



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