February ’22 Labor-Citizen

Brothers and Sisters:

The application process for the IUEC Local 17 Apprenticeship Program closed at midnight January 31.  As of the publication date, everyone who completed the application process will have received notice of when to appear for the aptitude test later this month and then in March the oral interview in front of the Joint Apprenticeship Committee.  Good luck to all those who applied to be a part of the best local in the best trade in the trades.

There are currently ten mechanics taking the starter class being taught by John Taylor.  If there is enough interest, John will roll into the AC motor class following the starter class.  The starter class runs for five weeks and the AC motor class for four.  

If you are interested in any continuing educational opportunities, log into the NEIEP website at neiep.org to access any of the virtual classes offered.  If there is a particular class you would be interested in seeing offered in person, contact Business Manager John Driscoll Jr at the hall at 216-431-8088 or email him at JEDriscoll@iueclocal17.org.

Just a reminder that if you are to be on a job lasting more than two days, had a child, change in dependents or marital status notify John at the hall.

With the omicron variant of Covid increasing potential infections, the Executive Board may cancel in-person member meetings at the hall in favor of returning to the officer meetings held during the height of the pandemic.  Watch your email inbox and the Local website, iueclocal17.org, for updates.

The Entertainment Committee reported that the Retiree’s Dinner is tentatively scheduled for May 20th.  This may change depending on the Covid situation leading up to the date.  Again, watch your email and the Local website for updates.

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

February ’22 Elevator Constructor

Brothers and Sisters:

The Ohio Elevator Licensing Bill was scheduled for a mid-January hearing in front of the General Government Budget Committee.  The Bill, once passed by the legislature and signed by the governor, sets up licensing requirements for everyone working on elevators and escalators similar to existing requirements for other trades and professions regulated by the state.

This is the final year of the contract between the IUEC and NEBA signatory companies.  It is expected contract talks will begin in February on a new five-year deal.  Even though   

work in Cleveland has been exceptionally good with all companies sharing in the wealth, that does not mean that this is the same situation in all parts of the International.    

As with previous contracts, being prepared as an individual for any possibility enhances your chances of staying afloat in the event of a work stoppage.  Looking at where you spend your money (dining out, subscription services you no longer use, tool shopping, etc) can give you a better picture of your overall finances than most other indicators.  It’s a new year, evaluate wisely.

Schindler remains the company with the most work locally and has been awarded the Sherwin Williams corporate headquarters job to go up on Public Square.  Otis, Kone, and Gable/Three Phase have a lot of work scheduled for the first quarter of 2022.  TK Elevators is keeping several modernization teams working into the new year.

As this issue reaches your mailbox, the application process for the apprenticeship program will be closed out.  All applicants should receive a notice of dates and times for taking the written exam as well as their interview with the JATC. Tentative dates for the aptitude test are February 14-18 and the interviews March 21-25.  Good luck to all our future Brothers and Sisters.

All of the new apprentices (those who have entered the trade in the last year and have not been enrolled in a class) should have received a laptop from NEIEP for use during their classes.  All students can download the material from the NEIEP website onto a personal laptop to use as a backup.

John Taylor will be teaching the AC motors class and the motor and starter class.  If you are interested in this continuing education opportunity, contact Business Manager John Driscoll Jr at 216-431-8088 or email him at JEDriscoll@iueclocal17.org.

Covid-19 has kept it’s hold on the world into the new year with the Omicron variant appearing around Thanksgiving 2021.  This has been an almost two year long exhausting battle with a microscopic enemy that has caused division among communities, isolated billions and sowed confusion as different organizations gave conflicting information as to the best course of action.  At this point the only people alive who have not been exposed in some way to one of the variants are those situated in similar circumstance to the cast and crew of TV’s “Alone” or “Mountain Men.”

What happens in two years time when we are talking about the Omega variant?  What will be considered “fully vaccinated?”  How many boosters are enough or too many?  What about masking and distancing?  Are they to be considered the new normal?  The science around this has advanced as quick as the virus along with the paranoia of every person on the planet having to become a virologist.  

When facing the total destruction of England by the advancing Nazis during the Blitz, Sir Winston Churchill spoke regularly to the citizens of his battered island nation with many quotable moments.  One that resonates in this time is his assurance that the best the way for England, and the world, to survive is to “keep calm and carry on.”

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

Until next month…

Work smart, work safe and slow down for safety.



January ’22 Labor-Citizen

Brothers and Sisters:

All apprentices need to be in attendance on Wednesday, January 19 at 5 pm at the school on Engle Road for the semester orientation with new Area Coordinator Jordan Miller. Tim Narowitz will be teaching RC 300 on Wednesday and Jerry Reitz will be teaching RC 100 on Monday and Tuesday. The first half of the alphabet will be in Monday’s class and the second half on Tuesday.

Apprentices who have not yet received a computer from NEIEP need to contact Business Manager John Driscoll Jr at the hall at 216-431-8088 or email him at JEDriscoll@iueclocal17.org. The laptops are the apprentices to use during their schooling and their responsibility in the event of damage or loss.

IUEC Local 17 opened its recruitment from January 1 through January 31, 2022 at 23:59 hours. All interested applicants must apply through the National Elevator Industry Educational Program website, neiep.org, go to the bottom of the home page and click on the appropriate links to begin the process. Tentative dates for the aptitude test are February 14-18 and interviews with the JATC on March 21-25. Good luck to all our future Constructor Brothers and Sisters.

John Taylor will be teaching the AC motor class as well as the motor/starter class. If you have ever had questions about AC motors, starters or soft starts, this is the class to take. Interested members can contact John at the hall at the contact information above.

Work in Cleveland for Local 17 has been very strong with all companies reporting a backlog of work. Otis, Kone and Gable/Three Phase have a lot of work starting in the first quarter of 2022 and TK is keeping several modernization teams working. Schindler has been awarded the Sherwin Williams corporate headquarters building set to go up on Public Square.

The International will begin negotiations on our new five-year contract with the NEBA signatory companies in February. Although wages are always a sticking point, the major issues identified at the convention in September centered around working conditions, safety and jurisdictional protection. With this in mind, it is a good time for all members to reevaluate their personal financial situation in the unlikely event of a work stoppage.

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

November ’21 Labor-Citizen

Brothers and Sisters:

There are 33 apprentices currently enrolled in the program with six in their final semester. Spring semester will consist of RC100 and RC400.

All apprentices are reminded to post their JATC hours once a week to avoid an appearance in front of the board.

The first of two apprentice makeup classes is scheduled for Tuesday, November 9th from 5 to 9 at the school on Engle Road. A second makeup class will be scheduled later in the semester for those requiring an additional class.

Apprentice pay raises went into effect in September. Several signatories have had problems in issuing correct paychecks to apprentices. If you have ongoing issues, contact Business Manager John Driscoll Jr at 216-431-8088 or email him at JEDriscoll@iueclocal17.org. Also, if problems continue, John said he will instruct members to go to the shop and wait for their checks.

Congratulations to Brothers Brandyn Alley, James Hirz and Deven Shields on passing their Mechanics Exam. Remember that this is the only unbiased evaluation of your knowledge as an elevator constructor you will have.

The November 12, December 10, 2021 and January 14, 2022 are special called mandatory meetings for the nomination, election and installation of officers. Those not in attendance will be fined in accordance with the Local by-laws.

At the October meeting, John reported that 20 resolutions regarding safety issues were passed at the 32nd General Convention held in Las Vegas, Nevada the last week of September. Of those 20, seven are applicable to the International Constitution and By-laws and went into effect on November 1, thirty days after the convention. The remaining 13 are items which need to be negotiated into the contract.

IUEC Local 17 currently has a strong work situation with all companies reporting a healthy backlog of work. Columbus (Local 37) reported that companies working in its territory have a two-year backlog of work and the Local just put on 15 probationaries.

The Brothers and Sisters of Local 17 send their condolences to retired Brother Dennis Dixon and his family on the loss of his wife and mother-in-law to complications of Covid-19.

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

October ’21 Labor-Citizen

Brothers and Sisters:

The Elevator Industry Work Preservation Fund (EIWPF) has developed a website, elevatorinfo.org, to inform non-signatory elevator technicians, company owners and customers that are not happy with non-signatory contractors about the benefits of union employment and services.  Work Preservation is a cooperative effort of the International and signatory companies to promote work place safety and support the efforts of the International organizers.

On the home page of this site is a link to the alphabetical list of Local 17 signatory companies.  If you notice a company not listed working in the area, please call Business Manager John Driscoll, Jr at 431-8088 or email him at JEDriscoll@iueclocal17.org.  

Remember to report all job changes and jobs lasting three days or longer to the hall.    Also, if you have had a life change such as a marriage, divorce, birth or death, be sure to call the hall with the information.

Several Brothers have been out of work due to Covid exposure and three have been hospitalized because of infection.  As companies and customers have been rolling out vaccination requirements for employees and contractors, it is increasingly important to be aware of and in compliance with those requirements.  With that in mind, masks and hand sanitizer have become default additions to the standard issue personal protection equipment (PPE).  Please keep an adequate supply available for you and your co-workers.

Congratulations to Brother Jason Tischler on passing the Mechanics Exam.  As if this writing there are three additional apprentices waiting to take the exam.  Remember that this is the only unbiased evaluation of your knowledge as an elevator mechanic you will ever have in your career.  

The November 12 and December 10, 2021 and January 14, 2022 are mandatory special called meetings for the nomination, election and installation of officers.  Those not in attendance are subject to fines in accordance with the Local By-Laws.

The Brothers and Sisters of Local 17 send their condolences to the families of retired Brother John Sopochak who passed away in September and retired Brother Dave Zepeda whose wife passed away in July.

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

September ’21 Labor-Citizen

Brothers and Sisters:

As the International revs up its preparations for the 32nd Convention being held in Las Vegas, Nevada at the end of the month, I want to share something I wrote on behalf of IUEC Local 17.

In March of this year, the Local voted to buy two advertisements in the convention book: one a congratulatory ad and the other a two-page spread of photos along with a short history of the Local. As your correspondent, I was tasked with preparing both of these pieces for the book. After going through my own personal archive spanning my time as correspondent to the journal and the photo albums prepared by former correspondent Eddie Ference and others, I selected 108 possible images for inclusion.

Some images, such as those of Brothers that left us far too soon, were of paramount importance for inclusion. Others represented touchstone points in our history which, when looked at individually, transcend time and speak to not only our past but, our present and future.

On September 26 the advertisements as well as the photos I selected for inclusion will be posted on the Local’s website, iueclocal17.org, for all to view. The text below is the history of the Local I wrote for the two-page spread.

Don Knapik

A Very Short Overview of Local 17 for the 32nd IUEC Convention

IUEC Local 17 was chartered November 5, 1903 with the objectives of “encouraging a high standard of skill among its members, cultivating a feeling of of friendship among the craft, obtaining and maintaining a fair wage, assisting each other in securing employment, protecting our jurisdiction and engaging in activities which further our interests.”

Local 17’s territory covers Ashtabula, Cuyahoga, Erie, Geauga, Lake and Lorain counties and the Local’s members are routinely found working in other jurisdictions. This is especially true as most of the Local’s signatory companies have regional or area operations which overlap other jurisdictions, especially Akron (Local 45).

The close relationship between Cleveland and Akron was highlighted by the three-year long organizing campaign for Gable Elevator of Twinsburg. Since Gable was headquartered in Akron’s territory but, also worked in Cleveland this created a special need for cooperation between the Locals. The Cleveland Volunteer Organizing Committee (VOC) took the lead in the effort and with the aid of Organizer Jim Lowery, the cooperation of Business Managers Tim Moennich of Cleveland and Dave Morrow of Akron, Gable became a signatory three years to the month from the first hand billing. After the campaign, the program pioneered by Local 17 was submitted to the International and now forms the basis for VOCs and organizing efforts across the union.

Local 17 has also made a special effort along with the International in recognizing the importance of mental health awareness and suicide prevention among its members and their families. The International has highlighted the need for awareness in the 2019 and 2020 October issues of the Elevator Constructor where services for those in crisis and their families are discussed in an open forum. The Local also financially supports several local charities, chief among them the Holy Family Cancer Home in Parma.

As with any human endeavor, there is a desire for togetherness and the Local holds several gatherings and dinners every year. The retirees are honored early on at the Retiree’s Dinner, followed by a golf outing, participation in the Cleveland trades softball tournament and the annual Children’s Christmas Party.

Throughout the years, Local 17 has strove to live up to the challenge laid down in its charter. With each succeeding generation of constructors building upon the foundation of those who came before, our predecessors efforts are never in vane. We as a Local and an International only have the view to see farther because we stand on the shoulders of these giants.

This is Cleveland. This is Local 17.

August ’21 Labor-Citizen

Brothers and Sisters:

The Fall Semester starts August 9th with a general apprentice meeting at our new school building located at 5145 Engle Road in Brookpark. NEIEP Area Coordinator Wally Woulding will be attending to give an overview of the year to the apprentices. Brothers Jerry Reitz will be teaching RC100 on Monday and Tim Narowitz has a class in RC300 on Wednesday.

There are currently 19 apprentices in the NEIEP program and four apprentices Mechanics Exam eligible. Rick Meyers is willing to teach a review class which may start as early as August 16th. Watch your email for updates.

Local 17 currently has 11 probationary apprentices working on their new-hire modules. They should be ready to start the program in the spring.

Schindler Elevator continues to hold the lions share of the work in Cleveland. As a result they have hired ten probationaries and Otis has picked up two in the last month. Gable, Kone and Thyssen are all indicating they may need help in the coming months.

As of right now, the Local 17 list looks like it will open at some point after the first of the year. Watch this space and the Local’s website, iueclocal17.org for more information.

Do not forget to call the Business Manager John Driscoll Jr whenever you will be on a job lasting more than two days. He can be reached at 216-431-8088 or you can come to the hall located at 3250 Euclid Ave.

If you have had any changes changes in your immediate family situation (marriage, divorce, birth, death) or need to update your Local Death and Dismemberment policy beneficiary, please notify John so the proper insurance coverages can be maintained.

The Brothers and Sisters of Local 17 send their condolences to the family of retired Brother Tom Gibbons and his son active member Tim on the passing of their mother and grandmother June 30.

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

July ’21 Labor-Citizen

Brothers and Sisters:

On August 9th IUEC Local 17 will be holding the first apprentice class in its new classroom building at  5145 Engle Road in Brookpark.  NEIEP Area Coordinator Wally Wuelling will be attending for an orientation session with the instructors and apprentices to answer any questions about the program.  

Apprentices will be split between 100 and 300 and have the option of completing the Pipe and Wire Lab as well as the Hydraulic Controller Lab.  These labs are optional but encouraged.

Brothers Brandyn Alley, James Hirz, Deven Shields and Jason Tischler passed their last finals and are eligible for the mechanics exam.  Good luck to these Brothers as they come into the home stretch of the apprenticeship program.

The Elevator Licensing Bill (HB 107) has passed the Ohio House.  The measure passed the House with a 81-9 vote and was introduced in the Senate on June 28 where it awaits debate and a vote.  The Bill spells out licensing requirements for people working on elevators, escalators and other conveyances and puts the constructors on par with other trades and professions within the state.

Work is still strong in Cleveland as Schindler hired eight probationary apprentices in the last month.  They still hold the lion’s share of the market but work at the other companies is on the upswing.  

For those wishing to enter the elevator trade, IUEC Local 45 (Akron) is currently holding their apprentice recruitment.  The application process begins with a visit to the National Elevator Industry Educational Program’s website, neiep.org, and a click on the recruitment tab.  this will take the applicant to the page with all the information on registering for the process.  The Akron recruitment drive runs through July 23.

Local 17 is expecting to open the application process after the first of the year.  Watch this space and the Local’s website, iueclocal17.org for more information.

The Brothers and Sisters of Local 17 send their condolences to the family of Brother Kevin Driscoll on the passing of his father.

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

June ’21 Labor-Citizen

Brothers and Sisters:

All of IUEC Local 17’s test eligible apprentices passed their Mechanics Exam.  Congratulations to Sean Canning, Brian Chambers, Shane Huff, Cory Ptak, Brian Seither, Rob Timko and Dion Yatsko. This is the only unbiased evaluation of your knowledge of the trade you will ever have.  Make the most of the rest of your careers!

NEIEP also announced that the apprentice list will not be opened for at least the next year.  Area Coordinator Wally Wuelling indicated that Locals with the oldest lists would be updated first.  This means Akron (Local 45) will be opening up soon. 

On April 28, the International in cooperation with its signatory companies, conducted a Safety Stand Down with the idea of refocusing member and employer attention on the essential work of safety in the trade.  General president Frank Christensen as well as the heads of all the majors contributed to the effort with words of encouragement to members across the union.

NEIEP announced that apprentice classes will be returning to face-to-face instruction for Fall Semester 2021.  More information is available on the NEIEP website, neiep.org, or through Business Manager John Driscoll Jr. at the hall.  You can contact John at 216-431-8088 or email him at JEDriscoll@iueclocal17.org.

The work on the new school is moving along with NEIEP approving the purchase of new desks, chairs and dry erase boards for the classrooms.

The 32nd IUEC General Convention will be an in-person event rescheduled for September 27 through October 1, 2021 in Las Vegas, Nevada.  The change was approved by the Secretary of Labor, Marty Walsh.

The Brothers and Sisters of IUEC Local 17 send their condolences to the family of Brother Pat Zubal whose father passed away.

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

May ’21 Labor-Citizen

IUEC Local 17 article for May Labor Citizen

Brothers and Sisters:

April 28 was Workers Memorial Day and The National Day of Mourning.  The International, in cooperation with many of its signatory companies, put together a series of videos along with a message from IUEC General President Frank Christensen aimed at driving home the continued need for on-the-job safety.  The presentation was available on a link presented through he IUEC website and many signatories employee communication channels.

All IUEC Locals have been instructed to form safety committees comprising local members and company representatives to discuss  safety-related issues.  This is being driven by the International’s continued emphasis on member safety.  International Safety Director Mike Langer met via ZOOM with the IUEC Local 17 Safety Committee to explain its purpose and the results of investigations on recent accidents.  A follow-up meeting is being scheduled for June.

Congratulations to Rob Timko, Brian Seither and Cory Ptak for passing the Mechanics Exam.  There are four other eligible apprentices waiting to take the test.

All apprentice class work must be completed by Friday, May 14 to be eligible for the finals which begin Monday, May 17.  Be sure your computer is working properly and you have a strong internet connection prior to starting your final.  If everyone passes their current classes, there will be 18 apprentices in the NEIEP program in the fall.

Area Coordinator Wally Wuelling told Local 17 that he has to hold recruitments for locals whose lists are the oldest first.  This means pushing Local 17’s recruitment out possibly another year.  

NEIEP has not officially announced we will have in-person classes for the fall, although it is looking more likely as time goes on.

Work Preservation is putting together a case against non-signatory Oracle Elevator as an irresponsible contractor.  At the Miami International Airport several escalators were found with safety devices physically jumped out.  We have been fortunate Oracle is not in the Cleveland market but they do have a presence in Columbus (Local 37).  Columbus was able to provide a list of jobs Oracle lost.

If anyone hears of an elevator company not listed at the end of this article working in the area please call Business Manager John Driscoll Jr. at 216-431-8088.

Tim Moennich of Work Preservation along with Local 11 (Cincinnati) Business Manager Jim Mill and Gable CEO Phil Issac testified in favor of HB 107, the elevator licensing bill, at a hearing in Columbus.  If the bill passes committee and goes on to the House and Senate for passage, the hope is to have it on Governor DeWine’s desk before the end of the legislative session.

Emails will be going out soon regarding the May meeting status. 

There has been a run of Covid and Covid-related infections and quarantines.  As of this writing we have eight members affected

The Brothers and Sisters of Local 17 send their condolences to the family of retired Brother Tom Carey who passed away.

As of this writing there are three mechanics on the bench