June ’17 Elevator Constructor

Brothers and sisters:

At the April meeting, International Organizer Jim Lowery spoke about the IUEC organizing efforts over the last year and how President Trump’s company stiffed an electrical contractor for $2 million.

Lowery talked about the Union City Daily newspaper report that an IBEW contractor was working at the new Trump International Hotel in DC and had not been paid for their work. “This is not a large company we are talking about that put out a significant amount of money and hasn’t been paid.” This is the former US Post Office the Trump Organization leased from the federal government and turned into a luxury hotel. This is also the same property where the President was under scrutiny for a potential conflict of interest.

Lowery then ticked off a list of successful campaigns and stripped employees, including a contractor doing work at VA hospitals around the country. When talking about other efforts, particularly within the federal government he said “there are several smaller companies that come in from out of town to do government work and then leave a mess behind them for our signatories to clean up.” The efforts to organize these companies continues.

When he turned his attention to Gable, he noted that the Cleveland market share for Local 17 jumped from about 86% to the “high 90 percent” range in commercial work and we are now the third largest organized market for home lifts in the International. Jim noted that Rick Gable has been working with the International to capture the home lift market, a sector on which the organizers have been told to place special emphasis. “There are several companies operating in the area that we would like to see come into the fold.”

Also at the April meeting Brother John Driscoll Jr., reported on the North American Building Trades legislative conference in Washington DC attended by him and Business Manager Tim Moennich. While the conference itself was informative and the two had many opportunities to talk with local legislators the highlight was the address given by President Trump. “The group was, except for one small protest during the speech, respectful of his position as President. He never once talked about Right-to-Work-for-less, Davis-Bacon, prevailing wage or any issues that we were interested in.”

NEIEP has a new online offering cover confined space training. The course is built on scenarios that describe relevant information to create awareness for how to work safely in and around confined spaces. To access the course login at neiep.org.

Congratulations to Brother Lucas Jenke who is the first apprentice to take the Mechanics Exam under the new format at Prometrics. He passed the exam on March 30th.

Where are they working?

Tom Gombar and Matt Hausler doing escalator work at NASA for Kone,

Kenny Jung and Ryan Todd doing safety tests for Schindler,

Drew Williams and Mark Carollo doing a two car mod at Edgewter Landing for Thyssen,

Todd Kemp and Nick Meyer doing and escalator clean down at GM for Thyssen,

Jim Thompson and Brian Siether doing a mod at Trinity Tower for Otis,

Ken Bowles and Shane Huff doing a mod at Metro General for Otis,

John Goggin and Brian Chambers at 1100 Superior doing service work for Schindler,

Jeff Ford and Jean LaFontaine doing escalator clean downs at Browns Stadium for Kone,

Heath Kramer and Todd Ross opening up escalators at Progressive Field for Kone,

Don Knapik and Ernesto Rodriguez doing full load safety tests at Penton Media for Schindler.

 

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

Until next month…

Work smart, work safe and slow down for safety.

 

Don
DKnapik@windstrem.net

May ’17 Labor-Citizen

Brothers and sisters:
NEIEP has a new online course on confined space awareness, The course is built on scenarios that describe relevant information to create awareness on how to work safely in and around confined spaces. You can check out this course and other online offerings at neiep.org in the Student Gateway.

If you took the welding class held at Lincoln Electric Business Manager Tim Moennich has your results. You can contact Tim at the hall at 216-431-8088 or email him at TMoennich@iueclocal17.org.

Congratulations to Brother Lucas Jenke who is the first apprentice to take and pass the Mechanics Exam administered at Prometrics. He passed the test on March 30th.

A large congratulations goes out to the IUEC Labor Committee on the successful completion of the negotiations of the new Standard agreement set to go into effect July 8. On Friday, March 31 the contract was ratified by a vote of 277 to 2. As previously reported, the only change to the contract is the Assistant Mechanic reporting requirements when starting a job. There is also a percentage increase for each year of the contract versus the dollar amount given in previous contracts.

At the April meeting, International Organizer Jim Lowery spoke about the IUEC organizing efforts over the last year and how President Trump’s company stiffed an electrical contractor for $2 million.

Lowery talked about the Union City Daily newspaper report that an IBEW contractor was working at the new Trump International Hotel in DC and had not been paid for their work. “This is not a large company we are talking about that put out a significant amount of money and hasn’t been paid.” This is the former US Post Office the Trump Organization leased from the federal government and turned into a luxury hotel. This is also the same property where the President was under scrutiny for a potential conflict of interest.

Lowery then ticked off a list of successful campaigns and stripped employees, including a contractor doing work at VA hospitals around the country. When talking about other efforts, particularly within the federal government he said “there are several smaller companies that come in from out of town to do government work and then leave a mess behind them for our signatories to clean up.” The efforts to organize these companies continues.

When he turned his attention to Gable, he noted that the Cleveland market share for Local 17 jumped from about 86% to the “high 90 percent” range in commercial work and we are now the third largest organized market for home lifts in the International. Jim noted that Rick Gable has been working with the International to capture the home lift market, a sector on which the organizers have been told to place special emphasis. “There are several companies operating in the area that we would like to see come into the fold.”

Lowery was also on the IUEC Labor Committee that just completed ratification of the new contract with NEBA and the ECA.

Also at the April meeting Brother John Driscoll Jr., reported on the North American Building Trades legislative conference in Washington DC attended by him and Business Manager Tim Moennich. While the conference itself was informative and the two had many opportunities to talk with local legislators the highlight was the address given by President Trump. “The group was, except for one small protest during the speech, respectful of his position as President. He never once talked about Right-to-Work-for-less, Davis-Bacon, prevailing wage or any issues that we were interested in.”
As of this writing there are three mechanics and one apprentice on the bench.

Until next month…

Work smart, work safe and slow down for safety.
Don
DKnapik@windstream.net

April ’17 Elevator Constructor

Brothers and sisters:

Entertainment Chairman Bill Dudas is planning a walleye fishing charter on April 22nd for 35 interested members. The cost is $30 per person. If you are interested in attending this first of its kind event, contact Business Manager Tim Moennich at 216-431-8088 or email him at TMoennich@iueclocal17.org.

The Annual IUEC Local 17 Retiree’s Dinner will be held May 19th at Frank Sterle’s Country House, 1401 East 55th Street just south of St. Clair Avenue. Refreshments start at 5:30 pm and dinner is served at 6:30 pm. The cost remains at $30 per person and will include a family style dinner. For more information contact Business Manager Tim Moennich no later than May 1st to secure your spot at this always well attended event.

There is a sign up sheet for classes in CPR and scaffolding. The CPR class is designed to give the participant an American Red Cross certificate. The scaffolding class is a Scaffold and Access Industry Association authorized program offered through the National Elevator Industry Educational Program (NEIEP). The successful completion of the class makes the student a competent person for the erection of frame scaffolding. The certification is good for three years and must be renewed after that time. For more information on this or any other offerings, contact Tim at the Hall.

On February 8, Brothers Joe Broz Jr, Bill Lynsky, John Patton and myself attended the Local 45 (Akron) meeting to watch 21 employees of Gable Elevator be sworn in as IUEC members. In addition, four Gable employees were sworn in to Local 37 (Columbus). Gable also hired six existing IUEC members, four from Akron and two from Cleveland, to deepen the talent pool and help shepherd the new members in the ways of the union.

Since its founding, Gable has been a major force in the home elevator and lift market in northern and eastern Ohio. They started by selling home lifts and elevators out of their family pharmacy and after some initial success formed the company to develop this underserved market. This region is now the third largest organized home lift market in the International.

The signing was the culmination of a three and a half year effort by Locals 17 and 45 to organize Gable into the IUEC family.

The effort was not always easy. Anything worth accomplishing is never easy. The effort was not always nice. Tempers flared, expectations waxed and waned. This happened because we are human and passionate about our goal. Through the entire effort our regional organizer Jim Lowery lent a steadying hand. He commented several times that this was an unusual campaign but, Cleveland is an unusual city!

I believe we were successful because our goal was to organize the entire company and raise it up, not tear it down. Ultimately, the lives of 25 men are better today than they were three and a half years ago.

And that is what it is all about.
Where are they working?

Mark Byram and Felix DeJesus doing a mod at Waterford Condominiums for Schindler,

Shawn Yatsko and Matt Herbold doing a one-car mod at Moreland Courts for Schindler,

John Brunner and Jason Tischler installing five cars at the Edison Building for Schindler,

Jason Costa and John Ondich working at 200 Public Square for Schindler,

Anthony Metcalf and Ken Eaton doing a mod at Coppertop for Thyssen,

Dave Francis installing a car for Gable,

Scott Daugherty doing a mod for Gable.

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

Until next month….

Work smart, work safe and slow down for safety.
Don
Dknapik@windstream.net

March ’17 Labor-Citizen

Brothers and sisters:

There are a lot of festivities planned for the coming months. So, get out your calendars and take note….

Once again IUEC Local 17 will be marching in the Cleveland St. Patrick’s Day Parade. The event steps off at noon and the participating units marshal along Superior Avenue east of East 18th Street prior to the event. This is a very family friendly gathering and all members are encouraged bring their children to share in the excitement. This is a great opportunity to make a memory or begin a family tradition.

Entertainment Chairman Bill Dudas is planning a walleye fishing charter for April 22nd. The charter will cost $30 per person and is currently limited to the first 35 people who sign up. For more information or to sign up for this first time event you can call Business Manager Tim Moennich at 216-431-8088 or email him at TMoennich@iueclocal17.org.

The Annual IUEC Local 17 Retiree’s Dinner will be held May 19th at Frank Sterle’s Country House, 1401 East 55th Street just south of St. Clair Avenue. Refreshments start at 5:30 pm and dinner is served at 6:30 pm. The cost remains at $30 per person and will include a family style dinner. For more information contact Business Manager Tim Moennich no later than May 1st to secure your spot at this always well attended event.

There is a sign up sheet for classes in CPR and scaffolding. The CPR class is designed to give the participant an American Red Cross certificate. The scaffolding class is a Scaffold and Access Industry Association authorized program offered through the National Elevator Industry Educational Program (NEIEP). The successful completion of the class makes the student a competent person for the erection of frame scaffolding. The certification is good for three years and must be renewed after that time. For more information on this or any other offerings, contact Tim at the Hall.

On February 8th, Brothers Joe Broz, Jr., Bill Lynsky, John Patton and myself were in attendance at the IUEC Local 45 (Akron) meeting when 21 new members were sworn in as a result of the successful organizing effort of Twinsburg’s Gable Elevator by both Local 17 and the Akron Local. Four Gable employees were sworn into Local 37 (Columbus) and they will be working in that jurisdiction. As a result of the signing onto the Standard Agreement, Gable also hired six experienced IUEC mechanics, four from Akron and two from Cleveland.

Since the beginning of Gable Elevator in 1991, they have been a significant player in the home elevator market. This single signing makes the home elevator market from Cleveland’s western suburbs south to Columbus and east to the Pennsylvania border the third largest organized region in the International. This pairs with the long term plan of the International to recapture the home market.

Gable employees have a portability agreement which allows them to work in both Cleveland and Akron but, they must report in when working in another jurisdiction.

If you see any of the new members take the time to congratulate them on becoming part of the best trade in the trades.

There are rumors of a tentative contract agreement between the IUEC, the Big Four elevator companies (NEBA) and the independents (ECA). No details will be available until all the contractors and Locals are briefed on the contents of the agreement.

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

March ’17 Elevator Constructor

Brothers and sisters:

Local 17 is proud to announce that after a three year campaign by the Local 17 Volunteer Organizing Committee, Business Manager Tim Moennich, Akron Local 45 Business Agent Dave Morrow, Jr., regional organizer Jim Lowery and head of organizing Jim Biangini successfully signed Gable Elevator as an IUEC signatory company.

In a Facebook post dated January 25th, Morrow made the announcement saying “I look forward to working with the new members and owners Rick Gable and Phil Isaac.” He punctuated the message with “Welcome to the IUEC Brothers! Local 45 and Local 17 joint effort!”

The signing brings 21 new members into Local 45. The decision for the Gable employees to go into the Akron local was based on the company being located in the Akron territory with a large portion of their work being conducted in Local 45. They will be working in the Cleveland area and will have to follow all of the rules that every signatory employee does when working in another Local’s territory.

Well, looks like the easy part is over.

I’m hearing a lot of you reading this saying “wait? What?” Yep, the easy part is over, the hard part is going to be making these new union Brothers feel welcome. Although I was raised in a strong union household, my own personal experience with organized labor was not always positive.

I spent part of one summer working in a grocery warehouse represented by the Teamsters. When I needed help I called the Local and had the door slammed in my face. So when I was approached about going to work in this trade knowing that I would have to join the union, I took a deep breath, swallowed hard and took the plunge with a “let’s wait and see” attitude.

Two months into my probationary period, I was laid off because of money. Within a week our business agent had me working in Columbus where I met some of the best guys to I could have worked with. The work was hard but, I learned my way around an elevator and did my best to make sure that at the end of the day all my mechanic had to do was wash his hands. Eventually I came home and worked at Millar and through the merger found myself back at Schindler.

For years after my swearing in I only came to the mandatory meetings and didn’t really take part in any of the Local’s activities because I didn’t feel a part of the group. Even after I ran and won my job as the correspondent to the Constructor it still took time before I felt accepted. Eventually I got to know more guys from different companies and began to see from my unique vantage point what it meant to be called Brother. It is not just something we call each other because it sounds good, we call each other Brother or Sister because we are a family. We argue, we laugh and we console. We eat and drink together and teach each other. When we are stuck we call Brothers from other companies to help us out and return the favor without charge.

These are the things we do because we are part of one of the most exclusive clubs in the trades. We make the most, have the best benefits and retire better than most people can dream.

In the end, this organizing effort was not about breaking Gable as a company, it was about raising their employees up. It was about giving them the opportunities we take for granted: the pay, the benefits, the education. If you see one of them out and about, take the time to introduce yourself, talk to them, answer their questions and take an interest in them.

After all, who wants to be part of a club where they don’t feel welcome.

The Brothers and sisters of Local 17 send their condolences to the family of Retired Brother George Prochaska who passed away January 4th.

Until next month,

Work smart, work safe and slow down for safety.

Don
DKnapik@windstream.net

February ’17 Elevator Constructor

Brothers and Sisters:

A large thank you to everyone who turned out for the 2016 edition of the Local 17 Children’s Christmas Party. As usual it was a great time for all who attended. If you take a minute to go to the Local’s website, iueclocal17.org, and search back to the first Christmas party covered in 2011, it is interesting to see how both the children and the adults have changed through the years.

Business Manager Tim Moennich has sign up sheets available for a scaffolding class and CPR class. The scaffolding class leads to a card which certifies the bearer as a Competent Person for the erection of frame scaffolding. The card is good for three years after which it must be renewed. If your card is due, lapsed or coming due, now is a great time to take the class. The second class offered is a CPR class. This class will give the student the confidence to handle an emergency situation and might just help save a life. Both of these classes are offered in conjunction with NEIEP. If you are interested in either class you can contact Tim at the Hall at 216-361-8088 or by email at TMoennich@iueclocal17.org.

Starting this semester all apprentices in the NEIEP program in Local 17 will be issued laptops pre-loaded with all of the textbooks and material needed for their four years of training. Not only will this make it easier to lookup material in the text but, the ability to play content related videos and go into NEIEP virtual courses will expand the learning opportunities for all apprentices.

In November the Affiliated Construction Trades (ACT Ohio) and the Ohio AFL-CIO were able to stop Ohio House bill 394 which would have decimated the states unemployment benefits. In short the new bill will have no impact on benefits except to freeze the weekly wage for 2018 and 2019 at the 2017 levels. This means that those receiving benefits will not see their weekly amount change.

This was accomplished with the cooperation of union organizations and the Republican dominated legislature.

There was a mailing from NEIBP to all members about the 2017 changes to the health plan. The largest change was in the drug program and the cost difference between the generic and brand name drugs prescribed by a physician. If you are receiving drugs through Plan, please take a few minutes to read and understand these changes and how they may effect you and your family.

Where are they working?

KevinThomas and Lemroy Hurd installing a freight car at NTA Coatings for Thyssen,

Ryan Todd and Felix DeJesus at Huntington Park Parking Garage doing a modernization for Schindler,

Dave Gnagy and Brian Seither doing a modernization at the Lorain Correctional Facility for Schindler,

Mark Byram and Matt Herbold doing a mod at Westbury apartments for Schindler,

Matt Weingart and Sean Canning adjusting cars at the Cleveland Clinic Cancer Center for Schindler,

John Goggin and Brian Chambers doing generator work at Penton Media for Schindler,

Sean and Dion Yatsko doing a mod at the Leader Building for Schindler,

Joe Broz Jr. and Kevin Driscoll doing a mod at Bishop Park Apartments for Thyssen,

Tim Narowitz and Tony Kuhn doing a mod at Judson Park for Thyssen.
As of this writing there are two mechanics and two apprentices on the bench.

Until next month…
Work smart, work safe and slow down for safety,
Don
DKnapik@windstream.net

January ’17 Labor-Citizen

Brothers and Sisters:
A large thank you to all the IUEC Local 17 members and their families who came out to the 2016 Children’s Christmas Party. This annual event brings together families of Local members and retirees for an afternoon of fun with food, a show and a visit from Santa bearing gifts to all the kids 12 and under. There are photos available on the Local 17 website, iueclocal17.org.

Classes for apprentices will be starting the first week of February with a two-hour orientation class. Starting with this semester, each student enrolled in the NEIEP Apprenticeship Program will be issued a laptop with all of their classroom books preloaded. They will also have access to industry related videos and Virtual Classroom courses. The big advantage will be the ability to search the documentation for keywords or highlight important information. Updates to the laptops will happen weekly or whenever there is a change in the curriculum. This will save a significant amount of money for NEIEP and make the IUEC apprentices among the best supported in the trades.

Business Manager Tim Moennich has sign up sheets available for a scaffolding class and CPR class. The scaffolding class leads to a card which certifies the bearer as a Competent Person for the erection of frame scaffolding. The card is good for three years after which it must be renewed. If your card is due, lapsed or coming due, now is a great time to take the class. The second offering is a CPR class. This class will give the student the confidence to handle an emergency situation and might just help save a life. Both of these classes are offered in conjunction with NEIEP. If you are interested in either class you can contact Tim at the Hall at 216-361-8088 or by email at TMoennich@iueclocal17.org.

Every IUEC member should have received a letter from the National Elevator Industry Benefits Plan about changes in the plan for 2017. The most significant change is in the drug plan. When there are generic drugs, the member will pay the generic co-pay. If the member wants the name brand drug they will have to pay the co-pay plus the difference between the generic and name brand drug. The change is expected to impact less than one percent of everyone in the plan and provide a considerable savings to the plan.

The Affiliated Constructions Trades (ACT Ohio) working with the Ohio AFL-CIO were able to derail House Bill 394 which would have decimated the Ohio Unemployment Compensation benefit received by so many Ohioans. Instead, working together and with House, Senate and business leaders they worked out a compromise that keeps benefits the same for 2017 and freezes the weekly unemployment compensation for 2018 and 2019. This means no reduction in benefits for those enrolled in the program.

ACT Ohio is an organization created by the Oho State Building Trades Council to facilitate industrial development and promote industry best practices for Ohio’s public and private construction sectors.

If you have not picked up the 2017 wage rates, please stop by the Hall.

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

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

Don
DKnapik@windstream.net