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


December ’17 Elevator Constructor

Brothers and sisters:

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

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

Your future self will thank you.

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

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

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

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

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

Where are they working?

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

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

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

Scott Villanueva nana Zach Miller doing service work for Otis,

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

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

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

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

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

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

Chris Wyatt and Chris DeJesus working in Indianapolis for Schindler,

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

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

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


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


Until next month,

Work smart, work safe and slow down for safety.



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.

November ’17 Elevator Constructor

Brothers and sisters:

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

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

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

That is what being an International Union is all about.

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

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

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

Where are they working?

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

Scott Villanueva and Zach Miller doing service work for Otis,

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

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

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

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

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

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

Drew Williams and Mark Carollo working in Toledo for Thyssen.


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

Until next month…

Work smart, work safe and slow down for safety.


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


October ’17 Elevator Constructor

Brothers and sisters:

As I write this article, the images of the complete and total devastation of the Texas Gulf coast and the ramifications thereof are only beginning to come to light. According to press reports 33 people are confirmed dead, 311,000 are signed up for relief and the President is pledging $5.9 billion to the inundated region.

As elevator constructors the best at this writing we can do is keep our brothers and sisters and their families in the affected areas in our prayers and be prepared to supply the aid and relief they will so desperately require. I know that Locals will donate money to relief causes and the most generous of us will open our own wallets to help those in need. The American Red Cross and Salvation Army are great resources for those who want their monetary or physical donations to go to where they are promised.

As those who worked through the damage done by Katerina and Sandy will no doubt testify, there will be ample work for all the trades in the aftermath of this storm. I would encourage those who are able to travel to talk to your superintendent about offering your services to the affected area.

Time after time in the aftermath of tragedy, America has put aside its divisions and rallied to the aid of those who found themselves in harms way. Who doesn’t quote from Franklin Roosevelt’s inaugural speech “the only thing we have to fear is fear itself?” What about “a date which will live in infamy?”

Standing on the hallowed ground of Gettysburg, Lincoln said in part “the world will little note, nor long remember what we say here; while it can never forget what they did here. …from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they here, gave the last full measure of devotion — that we here highly resolve these dead shall not have died in vain; that the nation, shall have a new birth of freedom, and that government of the people by the people for the people, shall not perish from the earth.”

After Challenger exploded 73 seconds into its final flight, who could forget Ronald Reagan speaking to assembled nation about those brave explorers losing their lives as they were reaching for the stars? What about President Bush on the smoldering remains of the Twin Towers addressing the crowd from a bullhorn pledging to bring those responsible to justice? What of President Obama at the end of his address at Mother Emmanuel to those mourning the senseless loss of their loved ones spontaneously breaking into a hymn of forgiveness?

These are touchstone moments that defined the character of The United States of America to the world as more than an assemblage of those of random heritage and dubious lineage. However you as an individual may feel about those men and their politics, there is no way you can question the depth of their commitment to the nation which elected them to serve as Commander-In-Chief and their most important role: Comforter-In-Chief.

They defined us as a nation of character, willing to put the needs of the many before the needs of the individual.

They defined us a nation of resolve willing to sacrifice for those we do not know that which we hold most precious.

They defined us a nation of compassion willing to hold up those who feel they can no longer stand up on their own.

They defined us as a nation united in principle, purpose and calling.

They defined us as The United States of America.

Until next month…

Work smart, work safe and slow down for safety.



September ’17 Elevator Constructor

Brothers and sisters:

As this issue of the Constructor is hitting your mailbox kids are going back to school, leaves are falling and I should be getting off the Lakeshore Limited in Albany, New York and beginning my 165 mile bike ride to St. Albans, Vermont. Whenever I write or talk about these adventures the inevitable questions becomes “why do you do it?” Well, there is no easy answer to that question.

The short answer is that I am a very restless person. The physical nature of cycling, the people I meet and experiences I have ground me to the belief that even though the world as a whole is a jumbled mess, people of different backgrounds connect best when they connect on a personal level. This is where all pretense falls away and genuine conversation begins. The road to sanity has to start somewhere. Mine starts in Albany.

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.

Where are they working?

Drew Williams and Mark Carollo doing a mod at the Halle Building for Thyssen,

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

Tom Gombar and Joe Gauker doing safety tests at NASA for Kone,

Pat McCann and Robert Connelly doing a four car mod at PNC for Thyssen,

Craig Nolty and Dan Koprowski installing a hydro at the Phoenix Building for Otis,

Dave Gnagy and Matt Carlton doing a four car mod at the Four Seasons for Schindler,

John Logue and Brandyn Alley doing a four car mod at the Cleveland Clinic for Otis,

Chris Scholle and Carl McBride installing an elevator at Lakewood High school for Thyssen,

Tony Kuhn and Ken Eaton doing a three car mod at Summit One for Thyssen,

DJ Spring and Deven Shields installing an elevator at the East 105th Street Parking Garage for Otis,

Al Ward and Andrea Rodriguez installing an elevator at Middle Park Academy for Otis,

Bernie Sickle and Chris Cook doing service work at the airport for Schindler.


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.


Until next month…

Work smart, work safe and slow down for safety.