October ’19 Labor-Citizen

Brothers and sisters:

As of this writing, IUEC Local 17 has 44 apprentices working in its jurisdiction. 35 are enrolled in RC 500, RC 600, RC 700 and RC 800 level classes for the fall semester. Two apprentices working out of town are enrolled in distance learning and seven are doing the New Hire training online and will be added to the appropriate class in the spring. This is the largest apprentice class Local 17 has had in over 10 years.

NEIEP is rolling out new online OJT forms that will be available through the Student Portal on the NEIEP website, neiep.org. Local 17’s JATC will still be requiring paper forms through September. Please take the time to acquaint yourself with the new online form and how it is to be filled out.

Apprentices should have received their raises effective in the first pay period of September based on their year status. If any apprentice has a question about what year they are considered or what their pay scale is, contact Business Manager John Driscoll, Jr. at JEDriscoll@iueclocal17.org or call the hall at 216-431-8088.

IUEC Local 17 in cooperation with Work Preservation and local signatory Gable Elevator hosted Ohio State Senator Vernon Sykes (D-Akron) and Ohio House Representative Bride Sweeney (D-Cleveland) to explain the need for the State Licensing Bill currently making its way back through the legislature. Phil Issac from Gable hosted the law makers at the modernization the company is performing at the Caxton Building on Huron Avenue near East Ninth Street. Also attending were Kevin Sullivan from Work Preservation, Local 17 Business Manger John Driscoll and Jared Holt. The company is modernizing two passenger elevators with an old freight car still in place.

In a separate site visit, Sullivan and Holt along with Tim Moennich of Work Preservation and Andy Herf met with Representative Dick Stein (R-Hilliard) and senators Tina Maharath (D-Canal Winchester) and Stephanie Kunze (R-Hilliard) to emphasize the need for proper training of elevator mechanics.

Using these forums, the group was able to show the complexity of working safely on elevators in general as well as the maintenance and training needs required to keep the equipment running in a safe and reliable manner.

It is hoped these and forums like this will educate the legislators on the importance of licensing elevator constructors in Ohio.

The Brothers and Sisters of IUEC Local 17 send their condolences to the family of withdrawn Brother Lloyd Parks, Jr. who passed away September 3. Lloyd left the field to work as an engineer for Otis.

As of this writing the bench is clear.

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.


August ’19 Labor Citizen

Brothers and Sisters:

As you read this, apprentices will be returning to the classroom.  There will again be four classes taught Monday through Thursday with two make-up classes scheduled for Friday later in the semester.  

IUEC Local 17 has a unique situation occurring right now.  This is the first time in almost a decade that there are apprentices raised to temporary mechanics along with teams from out of town coming in to help out with the abundance of work we currently enjoy.  For example, the August issue of the Elevator Constructor,  the IUEC journal, will list 30 different teams or multiple team jobs either currently active or completed by the time of publication.  This does not include those jobs previously listed and currently running in the jurisdiction.  

There have been reports of supervisors asking teams to take time off between jobs.  Given our current work situation in Local 17, it seems illogical that companies would sit employees who could be helping with the backlog of repair work or testing.  If you find yourself in that situation, call Business Manager John Driscoll. Jr. at 216-431-8088 or email him at JEDriscoll@iueclocal17.org.

Oracle Elevator, the Florida-based non-signatory, has expanded its footprint in that state with its eighth company purchase since 2017.  Oracle claims to be the largest non-signatory elevator company working in 14 states.  Oracle does have a presence in Columbus and is known to have done work at The Ohio State University.  If you see an Oracle truck or any non-signatory vehicle, call John at the hall at the number listed above.  As always, the signatories of IUEC Local 17 are listed below.

The Elevator Industry Health Benefits Plan offers the Member Assistance Program in cooperation with Beacon Health Options.  This program offers in person, online and over the phone help for those in need of counseling, legal and financial services.  This is a free program and all contact is kept strictly confidential.  For more information call 1-800-331-4824 or online at achievesolutions.net/iuec.

The Brothers and Sisters of Local 17 send condolences to Schindler mechanic Gary Thompson on the passing of his father.

As of this writing the bench is clear.

July 2019 Labor-Citizen

Brothers and Sisters:

The work situation of Cleveland is good for all the trades and IUEC Local 17 is no exception.  All the companies have expressed they have a lot of work on the books and may be adding probationaries after posting the results for the apprenticeship classes which closed out the first week of June.  As of this writing the final scores have not been posted but should be shortly.

The current work situation is not anomalous to Cleveland.  All Locals in the Tri-State area are reporting empty benches and the need for probationaries to come into the trade.  There are two Local Representative (LR) routes available in Midland and Abeline, Texas through Thyssen as well as an independent company in Local 28 (Omaha, Nebraska).  If you are interested in working in those areas, contact Business Manager John Driscoll, Jr. at JEDriscoll@iueclocal17.org or call the hall at 216-431-8088.

IUEC Local 17 NEIEP coordinator Jeff Burns is getting ready to retire and his replacement Ed Christensen, Jr. was in Cleveland recently to drop off the Spring semester finals.  Christensen is the nephew of IUEC General President Frank Christensen and son of Regional Director Ed Christensen, Sr.

All apprentices must still turn in their OJT forms to the Local in a timely manner or risk being called in front of the committee to answer why they have not complied with their obligation.  

Apprentice raises go into effect September 1 assuming the apprentice has passed at least two semesters of school.  Good luck to all those looking to move ahead in the best trade in the trades.

With all the turmoil roiling around the pension crisis, the Senate committee tasked with formulating a solution did not meet its deadline and the committee was dissolved.  The Butch Lewis Act is now designated as HR 397 and has been referred to the Committee on Education and Labor.  According to IUEC pension actuary Joe LoCicero, any reforms coming from future proposals will not have an adverse effect of the IUEC plan.  Consequently, the Trustees of the Plan have given all active members a raise on all hours accumulated prior to July 1, 2015 and all hours worked after July 1, 2019.  This will add a significant amount to future retirees pension checks.

If you are planning on retiring, please contact the benefits office for what your plan will look like on that day when your last paycheck has to last you a lifetime.

The IUEC offers members and their family confidential counseling services for legal, financial and mental health issues like depression, marriage counseling, stress management, anxiety, conflict management, weight management and communication.  The service is free and offered through Beacon Health Options.  For more information call 1-800-331-4824 or go online to achievesolutions.net/iuec.

The Brothers and Sisters of IUEC Local 17 send their condolences to the family of Brother Zach Lanum who passed away June 8.

As of this writing the bench is clear.

June 2019 Labor-Citizen

Brothers and Sisters:
As this issues goes to press the apprentices of IUEC Local 17 will be completing their end of year finals for the current classes. Good luck to all those moving forward in their education in the best trade in the trades.

On May 15, Brother Tim Narowitz taught a class in material handling equipment certification to about a dozen members of the Local. The training was to get them certified in fork lift and boom truck operation so they can operate the equipment on a job site and meet OSHA requirements. The members taking the class spent four hours in the classroom and four in the parking lot in the rear of the hall demonstrating their operational skills. This is another way to secure the work we claim through continuing education and certification.

A new welding class began on June 10. This is another in the line of continuing education offerings through the National Elevator Industry Educational Program (NEIEP). While other Locals have a trailer decked out in welding equipment come to a location, Local 17 is fortunate to be able to go the world headquarters of Lincoln Electric in Euclid for their training by Lincoln instructors. This gives the apprentices and journeymen a foot up when attempting to complete their 3G and 4G certifications. The class runs for two weeks, four hours a night for a total of 40 instructional hours.

If you know of someone looking to get into the elevator constructors, check out the NEIEP website, neiep.org, for information on the recruitment in Cincinnati (Local 11) and Columbus (Local 37). The Cincinnati recruitment starts September 4and the Columbus will be closing soon.

The news out of the State House in Columbus on the Elevator Licensing Bill is encouraging. The bill, which made it out of committee prior to the end of the previous session, did not make it to the floor for a vote before the end of the session. Since it was taken up by the legislature earlier in the session, it gives the bill which would outline requirements for licensing of all elevator constructors in the State a better opportunity for passage.

On May 17, IUEC Local 17 had its annual Retirees Dinner at Harry’s Steak House in Independence. Among the almost 100 attendees were Brothers Ray Bowles, Mark Carollo, Ken Eaton, Robin Eaton and Scott Runyon who all claimed their Gold Cards and Brother Bob Hess walked out with the retirees watch. For photos of the event, go to iueclocal17.org.

On June 1, Hickory Nut Golf Course hosted the IUEC Local 17 Golf Outing. The 60 active and retired members as well as their guests had a great time and the weather held out until the very end of the event. The low-gross winners were Jeff and Scott Ward with a seven-under 67. A large thank you goes out to Brothers Scott Hicks and Entertainment Chairman Zack Lanum for another great event.

The Brothers of Local 17 supported the Cleveland Building Trades picket of the new Menards store on Brookpark Road. The general contractor, McConnell Excavating, would not allow any of the signatory building contractors to bid on the job and brought in out of town non-union workers to do the job. In the elevator constructors case, they brought in Louisville, Kentucky-based Able Elevator to do the job at the Brookpark store as well as the new Avon location.

The May meeting saw a visit from IUEC Assistant Director of Organizing Dan Baumann who spoke about the Menards situation as well as the on going national efforts at organizing Oracle, Delaware and Richmond Elevator Companies. “These are major ongoing efforts to win over the workers as well as organize the companies” Baumann told the membership.

Former Local 17 organizer Jim Lowery was also there to tell the gathering that “because of the three-year effort to organize Gable Elevator and the lessons learned from that campaign, Local 17 is being used as a template across the International on how to run a successful campaign.”

Brunswick Ward 3 Councilwoman Sister Andrea Rodriguez is holding a campaign fundraiser golf outing on July 26th at Bunker Hill Golf Course, 3060 Pearl Road, Medina. The cost is $85 for golf and dinner or $30 for dinner only is paid before July 19. For more information contact Chad Gibson at chad@bunkerhillgc.com.
As of this writing the bench is clear.

May 2019 Labor-Citizen

Brothers and Sisters:

Happy May Day!

The second set of RC 500 Practical Exams were administered over two days on April 24th and 25th. These exams count toward the Apprentices overall score on the Mechanics Exam and as new exams roll out will be even more important for Apprentices not even involved yet in the trade.

The IUEC recently banned the use of Leatherman-style uninsulated multi-tools after Otis mechanic Brother Paul DeChane of Local 71 (Miami, FL) was electrocuted while using one to crimp a connection on a door lock. These style tools are very common in the field and should be discontinued as soon as possible.

There are two continuing education classes planned for the coming months. The first is the forklift class being taught by Tim Narowitz at the Laborers Local 310 classroom located in the rear of the parking lot at 3250 Euclid Ave. This class will give you the basic tools needed to be able to unload a truck on an worksite. The second is the welding class which gives the student the opportunity to earn 3G or 4G welding certifications. This is a 40 hour commitment over the course of two weeks. The class is taught at the world headquarters of Lincoln Electric in Euclid, Ohio. If you are interested in this or any other continuing education classes, contact Business Manager John Driscoll Jr. at JEDriscoll@iueclocal17.org or call at 216-431-8088.

As with all of the continuing education offerings, everyone you take makes you a better Constructor and a more valuable employee. They also give you an edge when work slows down making you recession resistant.

There has been a series of vehicle break-ins at the school. The JATC is discussing moving the school to a different location but, for now everyone is encouraged to keep all valuables out of sight. As John said at the meeting, even a bit of loose change looks like a fortune to a homeless person.

IUEC Local 17 will hold the annual Local 17 Golf Outing at Hickory Nut Golf Course, 23601 Royalton Rd, Columbia Station on June 1st. The cost has yet to be announced but, it is always a well attended and fun event.

As of this writing the bench is clear.

September ’18 Labor Citizen

Brothers and sisters:

IUEC Local 17 made it’s presence known at the annual North Shore Federation of Labor Picnic and Softball Tournament at Parma’s James Day Park over the Labor Day holiday.
Good hitting on offense was countered by inconsistent fielding on defense to allow Ironworkers 17 and Boilermakers 744 to make short work of our team. A big thanks to Brothers Ryan Todd and Entertainment Chairman Mike Moennich for fielding a team and coaching them in so short a span. For photos of the event and others go to the Local’s website, iueclocal17.org.

Apprentice classes are just beginning and it is good to remind everyone to keep their JATC forms up to date. These are important records of your progress and time in the trade. They are also required by the Department of Labor. Do not be the one to have to answer to the JATC for not turning in your forms. Nothing good happens.

Apprenticeship interviews will be held shortly and the new hire list available to the companies soon after. To those who will be working with these green Constructors, safety; yours, theirs and those around you, must be the overriding priority for the short term. Some will come to us with skills from the other trades, it is your responsibility to teach them how to apply those skills to our trade to make their learning process and your job easier.

No job is so important it can’t be done safely. SLOW DOWN FOR SAFETY!

Business Manager John Driscoll, Jr. would like to remind everyone who has a change of address, marital or family status or emergency information to contact him at the hall at 216-431-8088 or email him at JEDriscoll@iueclocal17.org. Also a reminder that all job changes and jobs that will last two days or longer must be reported to the hall.

If you are not registered to vote what are you waiting for? The deadline to register or change your registration if you have a name or address change is October 9th. You can register or make the needed changes at many government offices or your county board of elections.


As I write this, Senator John McCain is being laid to rest. I won’t go into his resume, that has been well documented and commented on in the media, instead I sit here and ponder the effect it has on his family and his affect on America.

It has been an emotional week for the McCain family as they attended services for the late Senator in Phoenix, the Capitol rotunda and the National Cathedral before his burial at the US Naval Academy in Annapolis.

Through it all his daughter Meghan has stood front center in forcefully speaking for her father and the ideals he stood for over his long public life. The following excerpt from her final tribute I believe sums up his life and the America he believed in.

Meghan McCain told mourners at the cathedral: “We gather here to mourn the passing of American greatness.

“The real thing, not cheap rhetoric from men who will never come near the sacrifice he gave so willingly, nor the opportunistic appropriation of those who live lives of comfort and privilege while he suffered and served.

“The America of John McCain is generous and welcoming and bold, she is resourceful and confident and secure, she meets her responsibilities, she speaks quietly because she is strong.
“America does not boast, because she does not need to. The America of John McCain has no need to be made great again, because America was always great.”

Well said Meghan. Well said.