January ’19 Labor-Citizen

Brothers and Sisters:

IUEC Local 17 has been aiding the efforts of Work Preservation and signatory companies to pass the Model Elevator Bill (SB 308) which would bring licensing of Constructors to the state of Ohio.  Testifying on behalf of the bill were IUEC lobbyist Andrew Herf, Kevin Sullivan from Work Preservation, Schindler Elevator code consultant and former Chief Elevator Inspector Norm Martin and Local 11 Business Agent Jim Miller.  All spoke on the importance of being properly trained to work on elevators and the problems that can arise when untrained personnel put themselves and the public at risk.

Two weeks later the opponent testimony had one speaker, Mike Simko, the owner of Access Solutions in Akron.  Simko claimed that companies like his doing residential work should be exempt from the law because oversight by the AHJ is already in place.  Additionally he argued that the accessibility market is a “niche inside a niche” and likened the licensing of all those working in the trade to “requiring a lawn tractor mechanic having to obtain a diesel truck mechanic license in order to remain in (their) field.”  When visiting the company website, Access Solutions claims their products are suitable for both residential and commercial applications.  

In addition to  Access Solutions, Arrow Lift, a Minnesota-based non-signatory with an office in Beachwood, and two groups, Americans for Prosperity and the accessibility industry association AEMA sent letters of testimony in opposition claiming the bill as a legislative overreach.

On December 5 the bill passed out of committee and as of this writing is waiting on a vote in the Senate.

Currently, Gable Elevator is the only IUEC Local 17 signatory with trained Constructors for the home and accessibility market.  If you have a need for you or a loved one, please give them a call.

If you know of a non-signatory company working on a job site, please contact IUEC Local 17 Business Manager John Driscoll, Jr. at 216-431-8088 or email him at JEDriscoll@iueclocal17.org.  Any information you can offer is helpful in our continuing organizing efforts.  A list of Local 17 signatories is available at the end of this article.

On December 15 Local 17 held its annual Children’s Christmas Party.  For photos from the event go to the website iueclocal17.org and click on the Galleries tab.  A large thank you to outgoing Entertainment Chairman Mike Moennich for the fine job in planning and working the events for 2018.

John Taylor is preparing to teach a second motor alignment class.  If you are not on the list to attend and are interested in taking this important class, then contact John at the hall.

Apprentices enrolled in the NEIEP program will be starting the Spring semester the last week of January with an orientation class and then in earnest the first week of February.  If you have not received your class assignment contact John as soon as possible.

All apprentices are reminded to turn in their JATC forms as soon as possible.  It is your responsibility to keep them up to date.  If you fall behind it could result in a visit to the JAC during working hours.

This is also a good time to inform the hall of any address, contact or dependent information changes.  This keeps the Local records current and minimizes the possibility of not receiving important mailings and other information from the International.

As of this writing the bench is clear.

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.

Don

DKnapik@windstream.net

December ’18 Labor-Citizen

Brothers and Sisters:

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.” 

A large thank you to all the trades for the effort to educate US Senators and Congressmen about the issues facing pension plans.  According to IUEC General Secretary-Treasurer Larry McGann all hearings by the Select Committee on Pension Solvency have been held and their final recommendation is pending.  This is the committee charged with finding a solution to the underfunding issues faced by many multi-employer pension plans.  

The spring semester starts the first week of February.  If you have any questions about class assignments, call Business Manager John Driscoll, Jr. at the hall at 216-431-8088 or email him at JEDriscoll@iueclocal17.org

John Taylor recently completed the first motor alignment class.  The next round of classes will begin soon so if you are interested in signing up, contact John Driscoll at the hall for further information.

For those of who are being asked to have a background check done for work related purposes, the check can only be for criminal background and not financial.  Your employer can only receive a pass or fail result.  If you have any questions, contact the Hall.

Notice:  The December 14, 2018 and January 11, 2019 meetings are Mandatory Meetings for the election and installation of officers.  Fines will be levied for non-attendance.

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

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

December ’18 Elevator Constructor

Brothers and sisters:

Since we last talked the trade had two more fatalities.  I’m sure by now all the rumors and speculation have run rampant, companies have reminded employees about the penal aspects of their safety policies, appropriate memorials have been said and two more families have loved ones not coming home from work tonight.

An all too familiar refrain.

A few years back, I took an escalator callback at one of the Greater Cleveland RTA train stations.  After barricading the bottom of the unit, I went to the top, removed the top floor plates and went looking for the errant switch that stopped the unit.  When I was sure I found and repaired the problem, I turned the unit on and stood at the top to observe operation.  After a few minutes I saw people rising up the unit and immediately hit the stop switch before the lead person was able to fall into the running steps.  

After explaining that I couldn’t let them continue on and pointing out the elevator, all but one walked back down.  He was taller than me, larger than me and had on a TSA uniform.  I did my best to stay professional and held firm that he walk down.  After a few minutes of rising tension and a growing crowd, I said to him “when I’m at the airport that is your world. You are in charge.  Inside these barricades is my world.  I’m in charge.”  I then pointed out the cameras trained on us and my access to Load Dispatch and the RTA police and asked him if he would like them to explain things.

After grunting a few not so subtle barbs, he relented, walked down and I continued with my repair.

I owned my job, my safety and ultimately the safety of those who chose to follow someone who blatantly disregarded the first safety rule:  don’t mess with a barricade.

I lost no sleep that night.

Just a reminder that December 15th is the day for the Annual Local 17 Children’s Christmas Party held at the hall.  It is an event that is always well attended and a great opportunity to reconnect with friends and their families.  Santa will visit and pass out gifts to children 12 and under and, of course, there is entertainment for children of all ages.  The fun starts at 1 pm at the hall.

Where are they working:

Joe Sumph and Brian Bond doing a mod at Westerly for Schindler,

John Goggin and Matt Herbold recabling at Penton Media for Schindler,

Gary Thompson and Brian Siether at Moreland Courts doing a mod for Schindler,

Jeff Lindell and Dave Francis at North Coast Harbor installing a four-stop, 

Dave Adrian and Zach Miller doing service work at the steel mill for Otis,

Bill Dudas and Tony Kuhn doing a two-car mod at the Drake for Thyssen,

Jeff Ward and Rob Zadravec replacing a machine at Case for Thyssen,

Dave Gnagy and Matt Carlton at Executive Commons in Woodmere doing a two-car mod for Schindler,

Chris Wyant and Chris DeJesus at Danbury Nursing Home in Mentor installing two 2-stop hydros for Schindler,

John Logue and Pat Pollack at Bridlewood Apartments in North Olmsted doing a two-car mod for Otis,

Scott ticks and Ernie Rodriguez at Middleburg Residence Hall installing two 4-stop are for Schindler,

Scott Villanueva and Bob Connelly at Fairview Parking Garage doing a mod for Otis,

Tim Wood and Zach Lanum doing safety tests for Thyssen,

Dave Dietz and Jason Tischler at Crowne Centre replacing six door operators for Schindler,

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

As of this writing there are two mechanics and two apprentices on the bench.

Until next month…

Happy Holidays, work smart, work safe and slow down for safety.

Don

DKnapik@windstream.net

November ’18 Labor-Citizen

Brothers and sisters:

Since we last talked the IUEC lost another Brother to an on the job accident.  On October 24, 2018 in Local 93 (Nashville) Brother Daniel Jones, a 26 year old apprentice working for Nashville Machine Elevator Co., lost his life. No further details are available at this time. 

This marks the second time in as many months the IUEC lost a Brother in the field.  Another time all the proper prayers will be said.  Another time condolences will be passed along and another time a husband, father, son and Brother will not come home from work. No matter who you are reading this.  No matter what trade you practice.  No matter what it takes to go home every night… 

I don’t want to write your obituary.

SLOW DOWN FOR SAFETY. 

Starting this school year, all apprentices will be required to complete Practical Exams which count toward points on the Mechanics Exam.  The purpose of the Practical is to demonstrate proficiency in specific skills required in the field.  NEIEP has chosen which skills in the particular courses it wants to test, how it will test those skills and to what set of standards those skills will be scored.  

Currently RC 500 will be required to complete this exam before the end of the year.  An exam for RC 700 is close to complete and is planned to be rolled out before June.  Eventually seven of the eight courses will have Practical Exams attached to them.  More information will be given as the time nears for administering the exams.

Jerry Reitz and John Taylor went to the motor alignment class and are expecting to start the first session on Tuesday, November 13th.  This is a three-night class to teach the fundamentals of motor alignment.  Based on demand there will be more classes after the holidays.  If you have not signed up please contact Business Manager John Driscoll Jr. at 216-431-8088 or email him at JEDriscoll@iueclocal17.org. 

On December 15 IUEC Local 17 will hold its annual Children’s Christmas Party at the hall Located at 3250 Euclid Avenue, Cleveland.  This is always a well attended event with food entertainment and a visit from Santa Claus for the children.  The event starts at 1 pm.

The meetings held on December 14, 2018 and January 11, 2019 are Special Called Mandatory Meetings for the election and installation of officers. There is a $20 fine for non-attendance.  If you have any questions, contact John.

Carrissa Berret of the Elevator Industry Work Preservation Fund did a presentation on September 27th for IUEC Locals 17 and 45 (Akron) signatory companies on money available through the Fund to offset the difference between their prices and those charged by non-signatory companies.  There was also information available on money available for residential work, an area being heavily pushed by the International.  Kone, Schindler, Thyssen, Gable and another Akron-based independent sent sales people to the event.  

As of this writing there are two mechanics and two apprentices on the bench.

November ’18 Elevator Constructor

Brothers and Sisters:

As you read this there will be less than a week until the mid-term elections.  

Everyone votes for a candidate based on whatever criteria is foremost in their mind at the moment. The Second Amendment, women’s issues, immigration, LGBTQ, farm subsidies, judicial appointments and water rights are all examples of wedge issues politicians and their surrogates use to create rifts among voters.  

We in the trades and, for that fact, anyone who works need to take a close look at just how our representatives really represent us.  Do they support policies that keep the cost of living low?  What about infrastructure issues like bridges, roads and mass transit?  Do they support workers rights to organize?  What about their stance on pension solvency?  Maintaining health insurance for the underserved so providers can get paid for their services?  Keeping our water drinkable and air breathable?  What are their thoughts about school safety and dealing with the issues underlying its problems?  What about decency, consistency and stability in our government?

Our standard of living was raised by men and women who bled and fell in picket lines and sweatshops.  Men and women who died to make their children’s life better.

These are answers that real working men and women of all sides of the spectrum require.  This is where we in the trades need to make a stand.  

Special Meeting Notice.  The November 9, 2018, December 14, 2018 and January 11, 2019 meetings are Special Called Meetings for the purpose of nomination, election and installation of officers.  A $20 fine will be assessed for non-attendance.

Every member should have received a letter inviting them to the 2018 Local 17 Children’s Christmas Party being held Saturday, December 15th at the hall located at 3250 Euclid Avenue.  This is always a well attended event with entertainment and age appropriate gifts for children 12 and under as well as a visit by Santa.  Please send in your response ASAP.

Letters were sent out to all the companies informing them that apprentice raises went into effect for the first full pay period after September 1.  If you did not receive a raise or are unsure of what your pay rate is supposed to be, call Business Agent John Driscoll, Jr. at the hall at 216-431-8088.  

Congratulations to Brother Steve Keating who passed the mechanics exam in August.  Work safe and live to enjoy your retirement.

Where are they working?

Dave Francis and Jeff Lindell unloading at Beacon Place for Kone,

Jim Rogers and Ernie Rodriguez installing one four-stop 3300 for Schindler at Benjamin Franklin Elementary School,

Joe Simcic and Morgan Armstrong installing a three-stop for Otis at Wilbur Wright Elementary School,

Matt Hausler and Mack Carollo at Linden House doing a jack for Thyssen,

Mark Ondich and John Goggin roping at NRG for Schindler,

Ken Bowles, Shane Huff, John Logue and Pat Pollock doing a modernization at Andrews Place Nursing Home in Mentor for Otis,

Jason Barnett and Dan Yoho from Local 45 installing a 3300 for Schindler in Painesville,

John Goggin, Ryan Oullette and Brian Chambers cabling at Penton Media for Schindler,

Tom Peska and Ernie Rodriguez installing a two-stop hydro at Warrensville and Cedar for Schindler,

John Goggin and Don Knapik shortening cables at CSU for Schindler,

Tom Kelly and Cory Huhn at Western Reserve Hospital in Cuyahoga Falls doing a jack for Otis,

Shawn Yatsko, Rob Timko, Ryan Todd, Dan Varga, Gary Thompson, Brian Siether, Mark Byram and Felix DeJesus doing a six-car mod at Moreland Courts for Schindler,

Pat McCann and Brian Owens installing two three-stop MRLs at Tri-C Downtown for Thyssen,

Dave Adrian and Zach Miller at CWRU Lot 54 doing sills replacement for Otis,

John Goggin and Ed Gimmel replacing a worn worm gear at Four Seasons for Schindler.

The Brothers and Sisters of the Local send their condolences to the families of retired Brothers Joe Miranda who lost his wife and Robin Eaton whose mother passed away.

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

Until next month,

Work smart, work safe and slow down for safety.

Don

Dknapik@windstream.net