July ’20 Labor-Citizen

Brothers and Sisters:

As this issue is ready to go to press, the Memorandum of Understanding between the IUEC and NEBA, the negotiating body for the major elevator contractors, will have expired.  The MOU gave companies latitude during the COVID-19 pandemic to change certain work rules with the intent of keeping as many IUEC members working as possible.  The provisions expired at midnight July 1 which means all the provisions of the Standard Agreement are back in force.

Congratulations go out to brothers Marc Carollo, Chris Cook, Jacob Mullett, Chris Sipos and Rob Zadravec for passing the mechanics exam. Brothers, keep in mind this is the only unbiased evaluation of your knowledge as an elevator constructor.  The challenge now is to move forward and make the trade a little better for you having been here.

Finals for the current group of apprentices were held the week of June 29 to July 3 through the NEIEP website.  results from the exam are expected to be posted to the site Friday, July 10.  Pending those final results, Local 17 may have as many as eleven apprentices eligible for the next exam.

A large thank you goes out to Brother Rick Myers for going above and beyond with the mechanics exam review and for the five who passed.  He continued to answer texts and emails as well as holding Webex meetings during the quarantine.

Apprentices should be looking for their class assignments for fall semester during July.  It is unclear right now what steps will be necessary for in-class instruction.  This continues to be a fluid situation so watch your NEIEP mail for further updates.

If you are on lay-off or furlough your employer should be giving you your accrued vacation check with your last paystub.  If you have not received the payment, contact Business Manager John Driscoll, Jr. at 216-431-8088 or email him at JEDriscoll@iueclocal17.org.

Everyone can appreciate that between the pandemic, a new civil rights movement and the election this is a pivotal time in American history.  The next six months will set the nation on a course from which there will be no return. 

Things will change. 

What sets America apart, what has always set America apart is its ability to be the light when the darkness of hopelessness casts a pall over all.  It doesn’t take much, it only takes a little. 

Do what you as an individual can to be the America we all hope we are and together we will be that America we know we are once again. 

As of this writing there are two mechanics on voluntary furlough, two mechanics laid off, one apprentice and three probationary apprentices furloughed.


July ’20 Elevator Constructor

Brothers and Sisters:

Unless you are living under a rock, you know what is going on with the COVID-19 pandemic and the violence in the wake of George Floyd’s death.  I’m not going to focus on those issues, instead I’m going to focus on something I’ve been thinking a lot about lately, leadership.

What are the qualities that make us want to follow someone by choice rather than by force?  I’ve never been in the military but, most of the people I know who have been speak about their various superiors the same way as those who did not serve.  In fact, if you did not know they were referring to their military time, it’s easy for someone like myself to replace the drill instructor with a boss I’ve had at various times of my life.

In the book The Few and The Proud, Larry Smith interviews Marine drill instructors from WWII through Iraq and, in their own words, gives insight into this question.  The instructors all talk about how in the first few weeks the purpose of the drills is to remove individuality and then teach the recruits to work together as a team.  The tool most often used is keeping the recruit off balance and guessing what comes next.  

Those who have never served, or have a strong sense of individuality, are extremely resistant when this is implemented in the corporate world.  Most of us will eventually turn off and become deaf to the noise.  

The other extreme is indecisiveness.  Bosses who refuse or defer decision making until cornered can be infuriating to the point of rage.  Some indecisiveness may come from fear of making a mistake or displeasing superiors.  Again, turn off and tune out.

My experience tells me that the best leader is someone you work for not report to.  It is the kind of person that gives you the tools you need to do your job, steps away, lets you do it and then guides you on how you can do it better.

So, what really makes a good leader?  These instructors touch on those points as well.

Good leaders do not always have all the answers but, they ask the right questions of the right people to learn what they don’t know.  They also look at a problem from a multitude of angles and realize that it is all right to take a little more time to obtain a complete view before moving forward.  Over analysis may lead to paralysis but, knee-jerk reactions can be far more costly.

Good leaders step back and let their subordinates take the lead when that person knows more about a subject than they do.

Good leaders are not afraid to change course when the way forward is fraught with peril.  They adjust the course to match conditions not force conditions to match their course.

Good leaders take responsibility when their decisions go wrong and again shift course to avoid additional damage.

Good leaders have a steady hand on the ship of state.  They remain cool, confident, reassuring and maintain positivity without raising false hope. 

Good leaders care more about those they are leading than themselves.  Their own ego and self interest are put aside when considering the greater good of those who will be impacted by their decisions.  

When the situation calls for leaders to make an unpopular decision, they research the options, take a course and articulate the reasons why this is the best course.  They then monitor progress and make changes as needed. 

The above list is not comprehensive, only my thoughts on the subject.  If you’d like to add to the list or have your own thoughts on the subject, email me at the address below.

Until next month,

Work smart, work safe and slow down for safety.



June ’20 Labor-Citizen

Brothers and Sisters:

On April 28 the IUEC recognized a Safety Stand Down Day to emphasize the need for on the job safety for the members. There was a safety video and call-in for a safety message from the General Officers. Unfortunately, there was an on the job fatality in Oklahoma City the day before, April 27, which made the Safety Stand Down even more timely.

The Cleveland Building and Construction Trades offered masks to its member unions. Business Manager John Driscoll, Jr. passed out the masks IUEC Local 17 was given to various construction and modernization jobs around the Cleveland area. As a result of various CDC, government and customer requirements, masks are becoming a standard PPE item for many members to gain access to worksites. It is advised to use masks and social distancing, when required, to limit exposure to infection. If you have a question or concern about PPE or worksite requirements contact John at 216-431-8088 or email him at JEDriscoll@iueclocal17.org.

By the time you read this, the NEIEP spring semester will be in the books with all apprentices turning in their unit exams by May 29 to be eligible for their finals. All students must pass the unit exams with a seventy percent.

There are eleven apprentices that if they pass their unit finals, will be eligible to take the mechanics exam. This is the largest class of apprentices eligible for the exam in many years. Good luck to all those looking to raise themselves to journeyman status in the best trade in the trades.

Congratulations to Rob Zadravec on passing the Mechanics Exam. There are currently five more members waiting to take the exam.

The International has extended its Memorandum of Understanding with NEBA, the bargaining unit for the major elevator contractors. As of this writing the MOU terminates on June 30 with no changes in language. This gives the companies latitude in furloughs, layoffs and hours during the COVID-19 pandemic regardless of local conditions.

Work conditions for Local 17 remain strong with companies keeping as many members working as possible. Kone and Thyssen have reduced hours for different disciplines and Otis has moved two maintenance men to a door modernization to keep them working. Schindler has not cut hours.

The Brothers and Sisters of IUEC Local 17 send their condolences to the families of retired Brothers Joe Chaykosky who passed away April 22 and honorary retiree Kenny Jung who passed away May 2. The Brothers and Sisters also send condolences to Brothers Rich and Todd Kemp whose mother Bonnie Sinclair passed away.

As of this writing there are three mechanics on voluntary furlough, two mechanics on layoff and one probationary apprentice on furlough.

New Message From Local 17

To all,

Local 310 Laborers are not allowing use of the Hall following the group gathering restrictions, therefore our June Union meeting is canceled.

Downtown construction sites are shut down until Wednesday morning following the curfew rules after Saturday nights riots.

Downtown maintenance/service men that can get to their jobs today and tomorrow should go in but do so with caution. If you are told to stay home or are voluntarily staying home please let me know.

Stay Healthy and Safe during these difficult times.



John Driscoll

Business Rep.

IUEC Local 17

Office (216) 431-8088

Cell (216) 513-1413

Curfew Closes Downtown Cleveland

In the wake of violent protests about the death of George Floyd by a Minneapolis police officer which resulted in damage to much of downtown, Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson issues a curfew order that is being extended from Sunday through Tuesday, June 2 at 8pm.  This essentially closes downtown as well as the Ohio City and Market Districts to any and all traffic.

All residents of the affected areas are being told to stay off the streets and parked vehicles will be towed by police order.

Here is a link to CBS 19 news detailing the curfew order and the damage resulting from the demonstrations.

June ’20 Elevator Constructor

Brothers and Sisters:
The most common phrase we hear repeated on every news broadcast and missive from management is we “live in unprecedented times.” Well, yes we do. The last time the world was gripped by a pandemic of this magnitude was the Spanish Flu of 1918. Unless you are 102 years old and lived through those times, you have never seen anything like this in your life time.

The closest we have come in the lifetime of the majority of those reading this is the September 11 attacks. For those of us who remember that time, those events were localized to lower Manhattan, the Pentagon and Shanksville, Pennsylvania. The initial reverberations of those events and the quagmire we have found ourselves in today needs no elaboration. The curious thing is that within a couple of months and after the US led invasion of Afghanistan, the home front essentially returned to normal. People went back to work, planes began to fly and the deep surveillance state took hold.

In that instance, the enemy was known. In the instance of COVID-19, the enemy is invisible which makes it far harder to identify and to fight. It also adds a fear factor to the equation: anyone can be a carrier, anyone can become infected, anyone can die.

In Cleveland, we are fortunate to have a lot of work on the books. There are companies that are running maintenance routes at 32 hours a week and repair and mod teams at 40. The problem these companies are running into is exposing their employees to infection and as a result, they are supplying PPE as fast into the field as they acquire it. I have to say that Schindler Cleveland has done a very good job of dispersing anti-infection PPE to its field personnel.

As a resident, I am in a unique position. I have taken the opportunity of having an empty campus to turn my attention to all the little issues I have put on the back burner. As a result I can report I have made significant progress in repairing problems that could have been future shutdowns. Although I prefer working alone, the normal flow of students, faculty and staff keep me engaged on a daily basis. Now I am alone in a 30 building, 50 plus acre campus and it can be days or weeks between seeing someone walking the hallways. I wander an abandoned city where the residents fled and left everything in situ.

This plays on your psyche in odd ways. I have found myself becoming aware of my surroundings and realizing that if I am ever in trouble, I mean true trouble, there is no one to hear me scream for help. This has made me hyper aware of maintaining my own safety. Also, the silent and darkened hallways are reminiscent of many a horror movie or psychological thriller. The worst part is seeing all the outdated flyers for events past or events that never were.
In my opinion, the social distancing needed to contain the spread of COVID runs contrary to human nature. We are social animals who need others and thrive on contact in every form. There is a lot of concern about the long term psychological effect of the stay-at-home orders and the lack of socialization this pandemic has inflicted on society. I have no reliable statistics on whether this isolation has changed the overall calls for mental health services. My hope is that those who find themselves in need pick up the phone and make the call.

The IUEC has services available through its Member Assistance Program administered by Beacon Health Options. You can contact them at 1-800-331-4824, achievesolutions.net/iuec or in the Health and Wellness page of the Local 17 website, iueclocal17.org.

Until next month,

Work smart, work safe and slow down for safety.

Local 17 2020 Golf Outing Announced

Local 17 will be having its annual golf outing Saturday, June 13, 2020 at Hickory Nut Golf Course, 23601 Royalton Rd, Columbia Station.  It will be a four-man scrabble format. Social distancing rules are in place with one person per cart. Tee time is 10 AM with a shotgun start.  The cost is $100 per person which includes golf, dinner, beer and pop.

To reserve your spot contact Entertainment Chairman Brian Chambers at 216-272-3636.  You can pay via PayPal by entering the email brianchambers.cle@gmail.com or with a check payable to Brian sent to the hall at 3250 Euclid Ave, Cleveland, OH 44115.


May ’20 Labor-Citizen

Brothers and Sisters:

As of this writing the State of Ohio is taking small steps to reopen but, the majority of businesses remain closed or open providing limited service.  Here are the major highlights that effect the IUEC and its members.

School has been effectively closed since March 10 and the rest of the semester will be completed on distance learning.  Moving forward, decisions on how finals and the fall semester will be conducted will be transmitted on appropriate channels.  

Apprentices are still required to enter their OJL hours in the NEIEP portal.  If you do not enter your hours you will be sent a letter to appear in front of the board.

Prometrics, the facility used by the IUEC to administer the Mechanics Exam, is closed through May 1 and possibly longer.  There are currently six Local 17 members waiting to take their exam through the service but will have to wait until the restrictions are lifted.

Those who are on furlough or layoff due to the pandemic should have a number to use when filing for unemployment.  This number identifies you as being unemployed due to COVID-19.  You also should not need a letter of good standing to receive your benefits but if you do contact Business Manager John Driscoll, Jr. at 216-431-8088 or email him at JEDriscoll@iueclocal17.org.

If you are in a layoff or furlough situation there are a multitude of options available for you to receive some sort of aid.  If you have to self-quarantine, the Benefits office offers a 14-day weekly benefit.  Your best option is to contact John and he can explain the different programs available

The Memorandum of Understanding between the IUEC and NEBA, the bargaining unit for the employers, is in force until May 31.  This means that those temporary provisions are still in place until the end of the month and may be extended if the situation requires.  

Since the building and construction trades are exempted from the shutdown orders, members have been working through the crisis.  General contractors are still required to maintain a safe work environment including minimizing the exposure to the virus.  The CBT was able to stop GCs from using a Fluke heat meter to take temperatures on the work site but they are still allowed to use a questionnaire to determine access.  

The March and April meetings were held in the office with a quorum of officers in attendance.  The May meeting may be a virtual call-in available through a platform such as Webex.  

The Brothers and Sisters of IUEC Local 17 send condolences to the family of Honorary retiree Charlie Broscheid who passed away March 22.

As of this writing there are four mechanics on voluntary furlough, two mechanics on layoff and two probationary apprentices on furlough.

The officers of IUEC Local 17 are:  Business Manager:  John Driscoll, Jr., President:  John Patton, Vice President:  Fran Adams, Recording Secretary:  Joe Broz Jr., Financial Secretary:  Tim Narowitz, Treasurer:  Jason Fredrick, Executive Board:  Ken Bowles, Joe Broz Jr., Jason Fredrick, Tim Gibbons and Bill Lynsky, Trustees:  Tom Goggin, Matt Harden and Al Jerson, Entertainment Chairman:  Brian Chambers, Conductor:  Lucas Janke, Warden:  Steve Keating, Correspondent to the Labor Citizen and Elevator Constructor:  Don Knapik, Delegate to the CBT:  Bill Lynsky, Delegate to AFL-CIO:  John Patton, Local 17 Delegates to School Board:  Tom Goggin, Bill Lynsky and Jerry Reitz

IUEC Local 17 meets on the second Friday of every month except August at 6pm at the hall located at 3250 Euclid Avenue.  

The Executive Board meets two weeks before the regular meeting and the Trustees meet the Wednesday before the regular monthly meeting.

The signatories to IUEC Local 17 are Gable Elevator, Kone Elevator, Maximum Elevator, Otis Elevator,  Ross Elevator, Schindler Elevator and ThyssenKrupp Elevator.