January 2018 Labor-Citizen

Brothers and sisters:

On January 12, 2018, there will be a changing of the guard at IUEC Local 17 as Brother John Driscoll Jr. assumes the role of Business Manager from Brother Tim Moennich. Driscoll most recently served the Local as treasurer taking over for the retired Brother Denny Dixon. Driscoll has accompanied Moennich to legislative conferences in Columbus and Washington, DC were they lobbied for labor related issues. He was also a delegate to the most recent IUEC International convention. Driscoll is the son of former IUEC Local 17 Business Manager John Driscoll, Sr. He can be reached at JEDriscoll@iueclocal17.org.

It is not retirement time for Brother Moennich. He has accepted a job working for the National Elevator Industry Work Preservation Fund working on behalf of the trade on the state level on issues like elevator constructor licensing and the model elevator bill. He will also work to establish a more labor-friendly environment with the Republican dominated state legislature. “This is a great opportunity to make a real impact on the future of our trade.”

Congratulations to John and Tim as well as all the officers of IUEC Local 17.

John Taylor will be teaching the motor alignment class. Since this is a new offering by NEIEP, it is going to be a while before the class begins because all the instructors are going to need training to teach the class.

The welding class offered through NEIEP and Lincoln Electric will begin January 15th and run through January 26th. This 40-hour class prepares the student for 3G vertical up and 4G overhead welding certification. There is a $600 deposit required at sign up which will only be cashed if the student does not complete the course. If you have questions on how to maintain your welding certification, please call the hall at 216-431-8088 or email John for the information.

The painters recently put up the big inflatable rat in front of the Halle Building on Huron Avenue to protest developer K&Ds use of non-signatory contractors on their properties. The Cleveland Building Trades and Cleveland City Council President Kevin Kelly are putting pressure on K&D to use all union labor on their renovation of the crown jewel and symbol of Cleveland, the Terminal Tower.

At the December meeting International Organizer Jim Lowery gave an update on organizing activity in his area. In addition to organizing Gable Elevator and several other out of state contractors, Lowery was able to strip 55 new members from non-signatory companies in his region. “Once you are able to sit down with the people working at these non-signatories and show them the wages and benefit package they can get with the IUEC it becomes a very easy sell.”

 

“As I’m reminded,” he continued “there are other companies out there to bring into our fold.” Davis-Newcomber of Findlay, Handle and Son’s of Kent, Steiner Elevator based in Clyde, the constructors working at Dillard’s as well as the home lift companies Acorn and Burning River were acknowledged as potential targets in 2018.

During the Gable campaign, Local 17 passed several organizing resolutions specifically aimed at the company. These are now general resolutions to aid in the organizing efforts of these other non-signatories working our jurisdiction. The one with the greatest impact being the 50/50 resolution where an employee of a noon-signatory can go on the out of work list for a $50 initiation fee and $50 per month dues until they are picked up by a signatory company. This eases the financial burden on the employee since many non-signatories pay far less in wages and benefits than IUEC signatories.

If you see or suspect there is a non-signatory company working on a job, please contact John at the hall at 216-431-8088 or email him at JEDriscoll@iueclocal17.org.

The Brothers and Sisters of IUEC Local 17 send their condolences to the family of retired Brother Ralph Abriani who passed away November 25th.

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

January ’18 Elevator Constructor

Brothers and sisters:

2017 is over.

Some will shout thank God and others will be sorry to see it go. For me, I feel a little bit of both. Starting in December of 2015 my mother’s health declined to the point where she was no longer capable of living at home and is now at a nursing home. My younger sister and her husband cleaned out the house, prepped it for sale and as a result I wound up with a small room full of artifacts to wade through and dispose of.

This has given me a new perspective on value. As I dug through the assembled debris of my mother’s life, memories called from the bottom of the boxes: a metal lunch box, a blue plastic lard bucket filled with toy cars, a Pony League Championship trophy, a hand-made long drive champion award, a pole vaulting Smurf, photos, photos and more photos spoke to moments from my past that aided in making me who I am today.

When my older sister Carol passed away, I was blessed with a true family heirloom: a clock brought over by my great grandfather from Poland as the family fled the onslaught of the Russian army in the 1890’s. The unique part of the story is that he had to cut off the top in order to fit it in the steamer trunk. One of the few links from the old world to the new. It still keeps perfect time.

When I look at the assemblage of items I coveted for years: my mother’s desk, my father’s retirement clock, my grandmother’s chair and my grandfather’s bronzes I reflect on their journey through time. These are the artifacts of my heritage and I will pass them to my children along with… what? More things?

I remind myself that this is just stuff. Stuff does not define me. I define me. I am happiest when I am pedaling my bicycle on an adventure and all I have in the world is what I am carrying in the panniers, meeting people and creating memories. This is all I really need.

My challenge is to let go of what holds me back, be it physical objects or emotional chains. The emotional chains? Well, that is a story for another time.

To all my Brothers and Sisters in the IUEC family; Merry Christmas, Happy New Year and work safe.

The January 12, 2018 union meeting is a mandatory meeting for the installation of officers. You must call the hall prior to the meeting in order to be excused and avoid a fine.

Where are they working?

Joe Broz, Jr. and Andrew Daniels at Tower in the Park doing a mod for Thyssen,

Tom Gombar and Tom Goggin installing battery units at Philips Medical for Kone,

Brendan Hyland and Jeff Lindell installing two cars at Vanguard for Kone,

Heath Kramer and Jon McCuan installing a pump unit at Mount St. Herman for Kone,

Drew Williams, Bill Sellers, Mack Carollo and Ed Gimmel doing a two car mod at Severance Urgent Care for Thyssen,

Bob Brady and Cory Huhn replacing light fixtures at the Cleveland Clinic for Otis,

Scott Villanueva and Zach Miller doing service work at Fairview Hospital for Otis,

Joe Simcic and Morgan Armstrong installing two cars at CSU for Otis,

Craig Nolty and Dan Koprowski installing a car at Explorist for Otis,

Al Ward and Pat Pollack installing three cars at 1 University Circle for Otis.

 

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

Until next month…

Work smart, work safe and slow down for safety.

 

Don
DKnapik@windstream.net

December ’17 Labor Citizen

Brothers and sisters:

There are sign up sheets available for two class offerings. The first is the welding class taught at Lincoln Electric’s world head quarters in Euclid. The class is 40-hours and makes the student eligible to certify in 3G vertical and 4G overhead welding. There is an upfront cost involved. If you are not certified, this is great opportunity to gain that valuable cert. The second offering is on motor tramming and alignment. Students have the chance to explore methods, techniques and tips to remedy tramming issues. If you are interested in either of these offerings, contact Business Manager Tim Moennich at the hall at 216-431-8088 or email him at TMoennich@iueclocal17.org.

The Tri-state meeting is a gathering where Business Agents and Representatives can talk about issues common to the International and unique to their Local. At the November meeting, Business Manager Tim Moennich spent a lot of time reporting on the activities of our neighboring Locals.

Local 10 (Washington DC) has started their own job recovery fund. This program is similar to the one offered through Work Preservation to signatory companies when bidding against non-signatories for work. Local 2 (Chicago) started its own safety committee to investigate on the job accidents involving its 1350 members. Louisville (Local 20) and Indianapolis (Local 34) reported that their biggest problem is the number of non-signatories they have to deal with. Louisville has nine and Indianapolis reported eight non-signatories with Oracle being the largest in their territory. Local 20 has successfully stripped five new members and North Carolina’s Local 80 organized two of the elevator mechanics from the Macy’s Department stores and are actively building a relationship to organize them on a national basis.

On the organizing front, 2017 was a very good year for the IUEC. Over the last three years the International has successfully organized 600 new members including the 30 employees of Gable Elevator initiated into Local 45 (Akron) in February.

A Florida based non-signatory company, Armstrong and Andrews, has been successful securing work for the Veterans Administration and other Federal agencies. As recently as 2014 they installed a unit at the old Federal Courthouse in downtown Cleveland and were rumored to be doing work at the main VA campus on Wade Park. The IUEC is working with the company GE Berry to secure contracts at colleges and VA’s around the country for service and maintenance work and is also working on the new installation front as well.

Two other organizing efforts currently under way are at New Jersey-based Dual Lift where the employees will have the opportunity to vote on IUEC representation and at Acorn Stairlift Company, the UK-based company with US headquarters in Orlando, Florida were the International is hoping to grab its 250 employees as members.

The investment company, L-Squared out of Newport Bech, California and Longview Asset Management has partnered with Oracle Elevator to recapitalize the Company. According to the May 16th release Paul Belliveau, President and CEO of Oracle said “L-Squared’s long-term investment horizon will allow us to make further investments in our people and continue growing our geographic footprint while providing the highest level of service to our customers.” The company’s current plans are to expand by purchasing five companies a year.

The list of signatory companies to IUEC Local 17 are listed below. If anyone sees a company they do not recognize doing elevator related work, even if it is another trade, please call the hall and talk with Business Manager Tim Moennich. The contact information is in this article or on our website iueclocal17.org.

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

 

Until next month…
Work smart, work safe and slow down for safety

Don
DKnapik@windstream.net

December ’17 Elevator Constructor

Brothers and sisters:

Before the hustle and bustle of Holiday preparations takes over your thoughts, please take some time to reflect on people and events that have impacted your life. It could be a happy event like a wedding or the birth of a child or grandchild or a challenge like dealing with the death of a loved one or the aftermath of a natural disaster. Each one of these events mold each of us from who we were to who we are, our thoughts, attitudes and perspectives changing imperceptibly from event to event.

Ask yourself: “Am I happy with what I’ve become?” Regardless of how you honestly answer the question, use it as a vehicle for change to plot a course for your upcoming year.

Your future self will thank you.

When was the last time you trammed a motor? Years? When you were the helper to the guy that did all the bull work? Do you remember what tools you need? How about tolerances? Are you sure your mechanic knew what he was doing? NEIEP is offering a course in the art of motor tramming. Yes, it is an art and a deep skill to properly align a motor and worm gear shaft so there are no excessive side forces providing the smoothest possible ride and the longest machine life. If you are interested in relearning this important skill, learning it for the first time or refreshing your knowledge, call Business Manager Tim Moennich at 216-431-8088 or email him at TMoennich@iueclocal17.org for more information.

At the October meeting Tim read several letters from the International about funds set up for those Brothers and Sisters living in areas devastated by Hurricanes Irma, Harvey and Maria. The area most severely hit and still devastated by the aftermath is the island of Puerto Rico. The nightly news carries story after story about how these brave Americans weathered the storm and the slow response of those on the mainland to their plight. The International has set up a fund specifically for our Brothers and Sisters of the Los Gladiadores. According to IUEC Regional Director Rusty Gilbert, most of the island is still without power, the banking system is spotty at best and even if people have money there is really nowhere to buy supplies. This fund will ship good directly to the island as funds become available.

Any member wishing to make a donation can send a check to the International headquarters at the address in the front of this issue and note it is for the Los Gladiadores Relief Fund.

Local 17 will hold the annual Children’s Christmas Party on Saturday, December 16, 2017 at the hall located at 3250 Euclid Avenue. The event starts at 1 pm. Children up to and including twelve years old will receive gifts. Families are asked to bring baked goods while soft drinks will be provided. As in years past, Santa will be in attendance. This is always a well attended event and a lot of fun for members and their families.

Congratulations go out to Kaitlyn DeJesus the daughter of Chris DeJesus for being one of five students selected for the IUEC Scholarship award.

Where are they working?

Jeff Lindell and Dave Francis doing a mod at Cleveland Athletic Club for Kone,

Don Knapik and Joel Reyes doing a mod at Richmond Park apartments for Schindler,

Bob Brady and Cory Huhn at the Cleveland Clinic doing mod work for Otis,

Scott Villanueva nana Zach Miller doing service work for Otis,

Joe Simcic and Morgan Armstrong installing two cars at CSU for Otis,

Al Ward and Pat Pollock installing an elevator at One University Circle for Otis,

Craig Nolty and Dan Koprowski doing a mod at the Federal Reserve Bank for Otis,

Tim Narowitz, Anthony Metcalf, Matt Harden and Russel Barrows doing a mod at Three Villages for Thyssen,

Kenny Jung and Dion Yatsko doing a jack at Park Center 2 for Schindler,

Gary Thompson, Mark Byram, Shawn Yatsko, Ryan Todd, Rob Timko, Felix DeJesus and Brian Seither doing a mod at the Standard Building for Schindler,

Chris Wyatt and Chris DeJesus working in Indianapolis for Schindler,

Tim Wood and Bob Meyer replacing step chains at GM for Thyssen,

Jim Thompson and Steve Keating doing a mod at Southpoint Hospital for Otis,

Tom Gombar and Tim Moore doing a jack at Rockside Park Apartments for Thyssen.

 

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

 

Until next month,

Work smart, work safe and slow down for safety.

 

Don
DKnapik@windstream.net

November ’17 Labor Citizen

Brothers and sisters:

The International reported that on September 18th a mechanic working for KONE in Montreal, Canada was killed in an on the job accident. The mechanic, Simon Viel, 40, leaves behind a wife and children.

For those who have experienced a co-workers passing, anytime someone in the trades meets that fate it brings up thoughts of whether there was something we could have done to keep that fateful moment from coming to pass. The impact of a work fatality has a far reaching effect to beyond the immediate family and co workers. It impacts supervisors, office staff, customers and vendors as everyone looks for answers. OSHA and other authorities will always be looking for root causes and ways to minimize the potential for accidents, injuries and deaths from occurring again.

The only way to keep a safe workplace is to always be aware of what is going on around you, the hazards you encounter and minimize the exposure of yourself and others around you to those hazards. As cumbersome as some of those requirements imposed by contractors may seem, always remember that every OSHA requirement is written in blood. Do your best to see the next on his not written in yours.

NEIEP is offering a class in motor alignment. To those of you who have never trammed a motor, tramming is truing the worm and motor shafts of a geared machine to minimize the potential for the premature wear of rotational parts that out-of-alignment conditions will cause. This includes worn shafts, bearings, worm and gear wear and ride quality issues. Geared machines are not going away and this important skill can keep you busy for some time. If you are interested in finding out more about the class, contact Business Manager Tim Moennich at 216-431-8088 or email him at TMoennich@iueclocal17.org.

While I was cycling up the Vermont side of Lake Champlain this past September, Hurricane Maria destroyed Puerto Rico. As of this writing there are efforts to restore power to the US island territory and deliver food and supplies to those in need. With power out, the banking system is at a standstill and even if people had access to cash there is virtually nothing to buy. With this in mind, the International set up a relief fund for the Los Gladiadores, the union representing elevator constructors on the island. Money received by the fund will be used to purchase and ship supplies from the mainland to Puerto Rico to directly aid members and their families. To donate please address your check or money order to the IUEC headquarters Los Gladiadores Relief Fund, 7154 Columbia Gateway Dr., Columbia, MD 21046.

The November 17, December 8 and January 12 meetings are mandatory required meeting for the nomination, election and installation of officers. There is a $20 fine for non-attendance.

Congratulations go out to Kaitlyn DeJesus the daughter of Chris DeJesus for being selected one of five recipients of an IUEC Scholarship.

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

November ’17 Elevator Constructor

Brothers and sisters:

Last month I wrote about Harvey devastating Texas. As I was on vacation bicycling the Vermont side of Lake Champlain, Irma tore through the Caribbean and then the Gulf side of Florida. Then, as if the region hadn’t seen enough, Maria destroyed Puerto Rico.

As of this writing, it is forecast that power will not be restored to the island for another five months. Shipping containers full of relief supplies are piling up at the dock because of a lack of truck drivers. In the rural areas there is no potable water, food or fuel for generators. The military is on site attempting to clear roads and restore services but, even their efforts are slowed by the severity of damage.

Please keep in mind that even though we are separated by an ocean, those in Puerto Rico and the American Virgin Islands are every bit an American as those who trace their heritage to our founding fathers. This is the time when the IUEC can reach out to our Brother and Sister constructors on the island and help them put their lives back together so they can put Puerto Rico back together.

That is what being an International Union is all about.

At the IUEC national meeting there was a renewed emphasis on safety for members and the public. One of the interesting points was that in the last three years, three members died while working on the bottom floor door locks. These are arguably the hardest items to work on in a typical elevator installation. Members not doing proper local out-tag out and not taking full control of the elevator where cited as reasons for some of the fatalities. The International’s Safety Committee is working with OSHA to get more elevator language into the OSHA standards and with the companies to keep the field peoples phones from ringing while they are working on equipment.

Business Manager Tim Moennich was in Columbus with representatives of the Elevator Industry Work Preservation Fund working with State Representative Ron Young to gain his support for an elevator licensing bill for Ohio. 32 states currently require that anyone working on an elevator or escalator must be licensed by the state authority. This limits the ability of buildings to allow their maintenance people to work on the vertical transportation.

The following meetings are mandatory for the nomination, election and installation of officers: November 17, December 8 and January 12. All members must attend or have a valid reason properly communicated to the hall prior to the meeting. You can contact Tim at 216-431-8088 or by email at TMoennich@iueclocal17.org.

Where are they working?

Mark Byram, Gary Thompson, Felix DeJesus and Brian Seither working on the mod at the Standard Building for Schindler,

Scott Villanueva and Zach Miller doing service work for Otis,

Bob Brady and Jason Saunders doing a four car mod at Trinity Towers for Otis,

DJ Spring, Al Ward, Andrea Rodriguez and Deven Shields installing three cars for Otis,

Joe Broz, Jr. and Andrew Daniels doing a mod at Willoughby Hills Apartments for Thyssen,

Don Kaiser and John McCuan song no-load safety tests for Schindler,

Don Knapik and Mike Beros installing key switches at 1717 for Schindler,

Tony Kuhn and Bob Connelly doing a four-car mod at PNC for Thyssen,

Drew Williams and Mark Carollo working in Toledo for Thyssen.

 

As of this writing there are three mechanics on the bench.

Until next month…

Work smart, work safe and slow down for safety.

Don
DKnapik@windstream.net