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,

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 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.



August ’18 Labor-Citizen

Brothers and Sisters:
By the time you read this, the new school year will have started with Lucas Janke and Tim Narowitz teaching RC 500 on Monday and Tuesday respectively and Jerry Reitz teaching RC 200 on Wednesday and Thursday. You must have all 72 hours of instruction time completed in order to be eligible to pass the semester.

John Taylor is willing to do consecutive motor alignment classes for the 20 members who signed up. The class covers all aspects of the skill needed to keep machines in alignment.
If you were on of the mechanics who took the Solid State Motor Control class in 2016 and were wondering what happened to the credit for the class well, since NEIEP never sent out the final and its been almost a year and a half since the class, NEIEP says it’s been too long and they will not send out the finals.

The aptitude test for the Local 17 apprenticeship program will be held August 21-23 at the Hall located at 3250 Euclid Avenue. If you know someone applying for a position in the best trade in the trades, remind them to keep up on all deadlines in order to be eligible for a slot.

The International has asked the Local to start two initiatives. First is a political action committee to aid in voter registration drives, research local candidates and aid in passing state licensing of elevator constructors. Second is a local health and safety committee made up of union members and company representatives to discuss safety related issues. Both are in their formative stages. Watch this space, the Elevator Constructor and the local website, for more information.

If you are not registered to vote, REGISTER and SHOW UP AT THE POLLS! Remember, if you do not vote, you lose your right to complain. Period.
This year more than ever highlights the phrase the Right used as a warning from 2008 to 2016 and rings even louder with every early morning Twitter feed: elections have consequences.

The Right leaning Supreme Court dealt a severe blow to unions in the Janus decision crippling unions’ ability to collect dues from those who benefit from the contracts negotiated on their behalf. When I was a student at highly conservative Ashland College (before it became Ashland University), freeloaders were looked down on by the Young Republicans. Now they are Old Republicans and giddy to the point of intoxication with the ruling that freeloaders can skate along on the coattails of the same people they work beside. Now that there will be another Supreme Court nominee cementing the hold of the Right on the court for decades, what will be the next ruling to effect those working in organized labor?

Will the Right go after your pension? They are trying that right now with new rules on how solvency for some funds is calculated. If the new rules go into effect are you prepared to give up half your pension check every month? How will a firmly Right Supreme Court react? Are you willing to sit back and find out?

Elections have consequences.

They have consequences for hundreds of children kidnapped by Federal authorities under the color of law. Look into the face of your children and imagine the terror in the realization you may never see them again after months of traveling to leave a place where gangs will kill you just for fun. Put yourself in the place of an ICE agent who has to listen to the wailing of a five-year-old wondering what happened to their mother.

Elections have consequences.

As a direct result of a ginned up “Trade War” and the tariffs resulting from it, hundreds of people are out of work, factories, including the iconic American brand Harley Davidson, are closing operations and moving them abroad. Soybean farmers can no longer sell to China and, despite what you may have heard, the EU will not accept their genetically modified crop.

Elections, my friends, have consequences.

Attempting to turn back the clock to another time is not the answer. Dropping from the Paris Climate Accord, retreating from a deal with Iran, pushing away our NATO allies, emboldening our enemies and getting North Korea to re-agree to the same things it agreed to for the past 30 years is not leadership. This is posturing that has cost the United States its place at the table and abdicated the leadership of the free world to Teresa May, Angela Merkel, Xi Xing Ping and Vladimir Putin.

Elections have consequences that far outlast the latest angry missive. They have consequences that outlast administrations. They have consequences for us, the real people working to keep the United States UNITED.

Doubling down, my friends, is not a sane option.

The Brothers and Sisters of IUEC Local 17 send their condolences to the family of Brother Ken Eaton who lost his grandson.

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

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

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

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


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

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.

October ’17 Labor Citizen

Brothers and sisters:

The following are Mandatory Meetings for the nomination, election and installation of officers: November 17, December 8 and January 12. Meetings are held at the hall located at 3250 Euclid Avenue and start at 6 pm. Failure to attend will subject you to fines and a possible appearance in front of the Executive Board unless you contact the hall prior to each meeting. If you have any questions you can contact Business Manager Tim Moennich at 216-431-8088 or email him at

The apprentices currently enrolled in the NEIEP program are seeing several changes in how courses are presented and graded. Traditionally the final exam carried all the weight as to whether the apprentice retained the material. Now class participation, homework, practical labs and unit exams are half of the grade with the semester final compromising the second half. This system is consistent with high school and college grading which takes into account the total classroom experience.

At the IUEC national meeting, General President Frank Christensen emphasized that safety must be the first priority of all constructors. While overall fatality numbers are down, over the past three years three IUEC mechanics were killed while working on the bottom floor door lock by not taking positive control of the car.

The Elevator Industry Work Preservation Fund reported that in 2017 the IUEC had an 83 percent market share in North America versus the 14 percent average of all other trades. In Ohio the major push by EIWPF is to establish licensing of elevator constructors. This would end the practice of a building having their “electrician” work on the elevators putting the qualified constructor and the general public at risk. The IUEC, Work Preservation and State Representative Ron Young are working on getting the bill through the legislature.

On the organizing front, the International has brought in 567 new members in the past 24 months. Thank you to all the tradesmen that have called in with information on non-signatory elevator companies. The companies that are signatories to IUEC Local 17 are listed at the bottom of this article. If any tradesman see a non-signatory company working on their job, please contact the IUEC Local 17 hall. Your efforts are appreciated.

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

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


August ’17 Labor Citizen

Brothers and sisters:
In the past month IUEC Local 17 put out six probationary apprentices. In the last few years the Local has put out far more apprentices than in the past ten years. This trend is good for the trade because there are a large number of members that will be retiring in the next few years and the Local needs members to step up and fill their positions.

This makes it even more important for those members that have probationary apprentices to take the time to teach those apprentices not only the right way to do the job but, also the in’s and out’s of being a good union member. As I have said before, these apprentices look to their first journeymen as the model of what a good elevator man is but also a good union member. Please take the time to answer their questions to the best of your ability and if you do not have the answer, point them to someone that does.

According to Matt Szollosi, Director of ACT Ohio, if you are working on a job that uses Port Authority money for financing it is a prevailing wage job. If you have any questions about this, please contact your business representative.

ACT Ohio also reported the State of Ohio’s two-year operating budget passed with no unemployment compensation reform, no prevailing wage reform, no PLA reform and NO RIGHT TO WORK LANGUAGE. ACT Ohio has invested heavily in the relationships that that have kept these labor unfriendly concepts from the budget and out of the legislature. Once again it has made a difference.

Brother Tim Gibbons passed the mechanics exam and started on the route vacated by the now retired Brother Bruce Koprowski. The Local sends congratulations to both Tim and Bruce on these milestone achievements.

Hot on the heels of this spring’s walleye fishing charter, Entertainment Chairman Bill Dudas announced a second charter scheduled for Saturday, September 9th. The cost is $40 per person. The charter is limited to the first 30 people who sign up for the event. If you are interested, you can contact Business Manager Tim Moennich at 216-431-8088 or email him at

Thank you to the 30 active and 40 retired members of Local 17 that attended this years Local 17 Retiree’s Dinner. For pictures of this always well attended event, go to and click on the Galleries tab.

There was enough interest in having someone from Mass Mutual, the company that administers the 401K and Annuity program for the IUEC, give a presentation on the plans that a representative will attend a Special Called Meeting to answer any questions. Watch this space or the Local’s website,, for more details.

If you are interested in getting involved in the 401K plan, you can inquire at your employers office. It is as simple as filling out a form and the returns can be impressive.

In a letter read in part by Tim at the July meeting, Assistant General President Jim Bender reminded all Locals that prior to starting any new construction or modernization job every member must notify the business office of the location of that job. This is a requirement of General Law XXVI No. 24.

The Brothers and Sisters of Local 17 send their condolences to Brother Al Jerson who lost his father and retired Brother John Taylor who lost his daughter and two grand daughters.

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


July ’17 Labor Citizen

Brothers and Sisters:

The hot season is on us and it is even more important to stress the importance of the effects of heat on our daily work. Machine rooms, hoistways and their environment can lead to heat stroke or heat exhaustion. According to WebMD the hallmark symptom of heat stroke is a core body temperature above 104 degrees Fahrenheit. Fainting may be the first sign. Other symptoms may include: throbbing headache, dizziness and light-headedness, lack of sweating despite the heat; red, hot, and dry skin; muscle weakness or cramps, nausea and vomiting; rapid heartbeat, which may be either strong or weak; rapid, shallow breathing; behavioral changes such as confusion, disorientation, or staggering; seizures or unconsciousness.

If you suspect you have or your partner has any of these symptoms, contact 911 right away and attempt to cool the core body temperature to at least 101 to 102 degrees Fahrenheit. You can wet skin with water and fan the person with air; apply ice packs to the arm pits, groin, neck and back or immerse them in a tub of cool water.

Also, be aware that sweat can be conductive around live equipment. Always LOTO and confirm there is no current in the circuit. If you need to troubleshoot live, use the appropriate PPE and stay aware of your own physical state.

The Local 17 Annual Golf Outing will be held August 26th at Emerald Woods Golf Course,12501 N Boone Rd, Columbia Station. The $100 fee includes food, drink, prizes golf and a cart for the day. The format is once again a two man scramble. Please get your money and reservations into Business Manager Tim Moennich at the hall ASAP. The phone number is 216-431-8088 or you can email Tim at

There are still opportunities for Local 17 members to sign up for courses in CPR and scaffolding. These courses are brought to you through the National Elevator Industry Educational Program (NEIEP) on cooperation with the American Heart Association and the Scaffold and Access Industry Association and are paid for through the employer contributions made in members names for every hour they work. This advanced training can make the difference between working and not working, take advantage of it.

Do you have questions about retirement investment planning? Local 17 is planning a night with a representative from MassMutal, the company that administers the 401K for the IUEC, to give members and their spouses the chance to ask questions and learn about retirement investing options. This event is not limited to those nearing retirement. Choices made early on in your retirement planning can have long lasting effects on it’s eventual value. Contact Tim for more information on this important event.

IUEC signatory Ashland Individual Services has developed an elevator emergency education course for first responders in select US cities. They identified problems with the current Emergency Evacuation Manuals found in almost all machine rooms that can result in injuries to passengers and first responders. Many of the hazards identified by AIS are routinely handled in the JHA, JSA or company safety training but are not immediately identifiable to those outside the industry. The most important thing they teach the first responders is to call the IUEC elevator contractor to have a qualified and trained individual safely evacuate the passenger.
State representatives Tom Patton and Bob Cupp are co-sponsors of House Bill 236, the Model Elevator Law, which would bring licensing of elevator constructors to the state of Ohio. Kevin Sullivan from the National Elevator Industry Work Preservation Fund and lobbyist Andrew Herf are working together on this effort. To help fund the effort there will be a raffle of a rifle and pistol with 200 chances at $50 each. For more information on the raffle contact Tim.
The Brothers and Sisters of IUEC Local 17 send their condolences to Brother Don Knapik on the passing of his sister Carol.
As of this writing there are four mechanics on the bench.