September ’19 Labor-Citizen

Brothers and sisters:

IUEC Local 17 saw another early exit from the 2019 AFL-CIO Building Trades Labor Day Softball Tournament held at Parma’s James Day Park. In the Thursday night opener, the scrappy team was “mercy ruled out” by a much stronger Pipefitters 120 team. In the third inning, outfielder Rob Timko was fielding a ball hit to left when he injured his knee with a possible torn ACL. In the second game of the double-elimination tournament, the Constructors hitting and fielding were greatly improved from game one but, they still fell to Boilermakers 722 by a score of 12-11.

All of the IUEC Local 17 apprentices are reminded to keep their JATC forms current. There are forms available at the hall and at the school. As you know, if you fall behind on your forms you will be brought up to explain yourself to the JATC. This will result in losing time from work to attend the meeting.

Many mechanic in the Local are working with probationary apprentices. Here are a few things to keep in mind when you have a fresh face to the trade:

Don’t expect them to know as much as you. This should be obvious but it is easy to forget that they are unfamiliar with the slang common to this trade even when they are coming to the Constructors from another trade.

You are their first impression of the trade. No matter where they come from or what their background is, you are the one that sets their feet on the path to success.

Teach them the right way. This not only means plumb, square, straight, level and to a sixty-fourth of an inch, it means the Big Four of safety: on and off a car top, in and out of a pit, lock out/tag out and appropriate PPE for the job. For a rookie, these are the four most important skill to keep them alive.

Patience is a virtue. If you have ever dealt with children you know the truth in this statement, the same holds true for probationary apprentices. Everyone comes to the trades with baggage and expectations. We need patience to help channel the skills they come with and develop those they need.

Not everyone can be a Ranger or a SEAL. Occasionally someone comes to the trades with great intentions but simply cannot cut it as a Constructor. Be honest with your probationary about the areas they need to work on to be successful in the trade, give them the opportunities to demonstrate those skills, be honest with your superintendent about their progress and your assessment.

Be a good union member. This means attending the meetings, paying your dues on time and being a general good example of all aspects of union membership. The IUEC is a great place to make a career and you never know when you will be working with the next General President.

As of this writing the bench is clear
Work smart, work safe and slow down for safety.

Don
DKnapik@windstream.net