April’13 Elevator Constructor

Brothers and sisters:

There is a lot going on so I’ll get right to it…

I am pleased to report that Local 17 currently has 13 apprentices on our rolls.  They are currently in class with Jerry Reitz and will be shortly completing the spring semester.  With that in mind, please keep your eye on the local’s website, iueclocal17.org, the Cleveland Citizen and this space for news and dates of the upcoming apprenticeship recruitment.  While dates have not yet been set, it will be held this summer.  So if you know someone who is interested in entering the trade, talk to them now about this upcoming opportunity.

Local 17 in conjunction with NEIEP is once again sponsoring the very popular welding class held at Lincoln Electric.  This 40-hour class is designed to qualify the participant for 3G and 4G certification at the world headquarters of Lincoln Electric in Euclid.  It is an extremely valuable class that gives you or helps refine a skill that will last a lifetime.

On Friday, April 19, 2013 Local 17 will honor our retired members at Frank Sterle’s Slovenian Restaurant, 1401 East 55th Street.  Refreshments will be served at 5:30 and dinner will begin at 6:30.  As always, this is a members only event.  The cost at the door is $30 per person and includes the family-style dinner.  All retired members attend for free, but a reply should be sent in for a reservation.  Please contact Business Agent Tim Moennich at the hall, 3250 Euclid Ave, at 216-431-8088 or by email at TMoennich@iueclocal17.org for your reservation.

The Annual Local 17 Golf Outing will be held this year on June 1st at Mallard Creek Golf Course.  The format is a two-man scramble with prizes, food and beverages before, during and after the event.  The cost has not been announced, but watch this space and our website, iueclocal17.org, for further information.

Former Local 17 organizer and now regional director Jim Chapman reported at the Tri-State meeting that non-union Oracle Elevator lost the OSU contract and is now down to four employees in Columbus. There was also a report that work in Local 37 is picking up and they are looking for help.  Looks like a good time to be a UNION elevator constructor in the Capitol City.

The International would like to remind you that if you had a change in marital status or family members, please update that information with the Benefits Office.

Almost every month I have a list of where are brothers and sisters are working in Local 17.  While this is the easiest part of the article to write, it is also a reminder that Article IV, work we claim, is a vital and important part of our contract and our trade.  Many of those listed below may not be working if we continue to allow companies to give away that work.  Next time you are on a job and see our work being done by others, bring it to your supervisor and Tim’s attention.  The job you save could be yours.

Where are they working?

Mark Carollo and Tim Moore have moved over to the Med Mart for Schindler,

Denny Dixon and Brendan Hyland doing a mod at Bonneville Towers for Kone,

Kevin Thomas and Matt Johnson doing a mod at Lake Park Towers for Thyssen,

Don Knapik and Dave Grantham at CSU Heritage Hall repairing water damage for Schindler,

Al Ward and Ken Eaton installing cars at Fairview Hospital for Otis,

Jim Thompson and Scott Erison dong a four-car mod at Euclid Hospital for Otis,

Tom Peska joined the crew at Key Tower working the modernization for Otis, and

Jim Archer and Ryan Todd doing a mod at Easterly Sewage for Schindler.

 

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

 

Till next month,

Work safe, work smart and slow down for safety.

 

Don

Dknapik@windstream.net

IUEC Local 17 at the 2013 Cleveland St. Patrick’s Day Parade

Members of the building and construction trades work had every day to create work that will stand the test of time.  When we have an opportunity to gather together as we do at the annual Cleveland St. Patrick’s Day Parade, a feeling of goodwill and fellowship follows.

In the gallery below the brothers and sisters of IUEC Local 17 and their families invite you into our extended family.

Enjoy.

IMG_4105 IMG_4110 IMG_4133 IMG_4135 IMG_4136 IMG_4138 IMG_4139 IMG_4140 IMG_4141 IMG_4142 IMG_4143 IMG_4145 IMG_4146 IMG_4147 IMG_4148 IMG_4149 IMG_4151 IMG_4153 IMG_4154 IMG_4155 IMG_4156 IMG_4162 IMG_4163 IMG_4164 IMG_4166 IMG_4167 IMG_4175 IMG_4177 IMG_4179 IMG_4181 IMG_4182 IMG_4183

March ’13 Cleveland Citizen

Brothers and sisters:

There is a lot going on in IUEC Local 17 with education for our membership.  I am proud to report that IUEC Local 17 has thirteen members in its apprenticeship program.  This is the largest apprentice class the local has had in years and they are lucky enough to be instructed by Jerry Reitz.  Retired Brother John Taylor is currently teaching a mechanics class in the mysteries of solid-state motor control.

IUEC Local 17 is once again offering, in cooperation with NEIEP, the highly popular welding class taught at Lincoln Electric, the world leader in welding equipment and supplies.  The 40-hour class is geared to certifying the constructor in 3G (vertical up) and 4G (overhead) positions.  The class runs for two weeks and is four hours a night.  If you are interested in the welding class or any other educational opportunities offered by the local, please contact Business Agent Tim Moennich at 216-431-8088 or at TMoennich@iueclocal17.org.

Please watch this space and the local’s website, iueclocal17.org, for information on an upcoming apprentice recruitment.  Dates and times have not been announced, but if you or anyone you know would like to enter this challenging trade then this is your time.

Sunday, March 17th is St. Patrick’s Day and once again IUEC Local 17 will be taking part in the annual parade honoring Ireland’s favorite son.  This is always a well-attended family oriented event and everyone is encouraged to attend and march.  The route travels down Superior and we usually set up near the Plain Dealer building about East 20th Street.  This is a great opportunity to create memories and friendships that last a lifetime.

On Friday, April 19, 2013 IUEC Local 17 will honor our retired members at Frank Sterle’s Slovenian Restaurant, 1401 East 55th Street.  Refreshments will be served at 5:30 and dinner will begin at 6:30.  As always, this is a members only event.  The cost at the door is $30 per person and includes the family-style dinner.  All retired members attend for free, but a reply should be sent in for a reservation.  Please contact Business Agent Tim Moennich at the hall for your reservation.

Saturday, June 1st is the date for the annual IUEC Local 17 Golf Outing to be held again this year at Mallard Creek Golf Course, 34500 Royalton Rd., Columbia Station.  It is a two-man scramble format over one of the best public courses in Cleveland.  Please watch this space for times and costs.

At the Tri-State meeting Local 17’s former organizer and recently appointed regional director, Jim Chapman, reported that Oracle Elevator, the Florida-based non-union elevator contractor, recently lost the highly lucrative contract at The Ohio State University.  This brings the total number of employees in their Columbus office down to four.  Oracle was started in 2004 by former Otis Elevator NA president Bill Miller and former NAES president Mark Boelhouwer.

It is no secret that Right-to-Work-For-Less is a top priority for the Republican-led statehouse. Their greatest ally in the struggle to drive down wages and benefits to workers is the Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC), an anti-union group based in Alexandria, Virginia.  The ABC’s agenda is to spread false information about union contractors and attempt to push anti-worker legislation like RTW through statehouse after statehouse.  To counter this movement, the AFL-CIO is looking for volunteers to work phone banks to educate the public about the issues relating to RTW and its consequences.  If you can give a couple of hours, please contact Tim at the hall for further information.

It seems as though Article IV work, or our work jurisdiction according to our contract, is constantly under assault by the companies.  Over the years there have been attempts to erode the work, mostly due to advances in technology like plug and play, we as elevator constructors perform in the field.  Remember when every push button box was hard wired?  Remember when making cross connects on construction or mod meant pulling a series of multi-cords between controllers?  Remember when controllers actually had relays?  These are all examples of how the industry has changed and our work has been given away in the name of progress.

Now the current ploy is to say that our company does not have anyone “qualified” to do the work.  Whether it is cab work, setting machine beams, boxing out cable holes, welding jacks or laying flooring if it goes in an elevator it is our work.  The only way to protect it is to stand up and say “this is work we claim under Article IV and according to the Standard Agreement signed between the union and companies it is to be done by union elevator constructors.”  Sometimes a boss will make excuses about giving it away.  Even though your boss did not sign the contract, someone higher than him did.  Remind him that when he gets to make decisions about the content of the contract and its approval, he can comment, otherwise he is as bound by it as we are.

It is, after all, a two-way street.

March ’13 Elevator Constructor

Brothers and sisters:

It’s March so that means the start of NCAA college basketball tournaments and St. Patrick’s Day is just around the corner.  So whether you’re Irish, wish you were or are just cheering for them, enjoy your month.

I’m writing this at the end of January as the debate over gun control rages in the wake of Sandy Hook and a half dozen other events where people resorted to using firearms to make a point.  While the Far Left looks to seize all firearms and the Far Right says they’ll have to pry them out of their cold, dead hands, the millions of us who are in the middle watch as the debate produces more heat than light.

My youngest daughter was curious about the debate and decided to research the issues herself.  She started with a literal reading and then looked at the history of case law spanning back to just a few years after the adoption of the Constitution.  She quickly realized that the issue, while clarified in case law, was still open to interpretation after over 224 years of debate.

What I encourage everyone reading this to do is no matter what side of any issue you fall, research the opposite side to give yourself a well-rounded view.  Then, and only then, can you form a complete and informed opinion.  This is how the law is argued in schools, briefs and courtrooms around the world.  With your new expanded perspective, you may just turn that heat into light.

NEIEP is offering the welding class taught at the world headquarters of Lincoln Electric, the leader in welding products and supplies.  This is a 40-hour course, four hours a night for two weeks.  The class offers the opportunity to qualify for a 3G and 4G certification.  This is an outstanding class taught in the best facilities in the world.  If you are interested in taking advantage of this unique opportunity contact Business Agent Tim Moennich at 216-431-8088 or email him at TMoennich@iueclocal17.org.

Local 17 maintains an email list for immediate communication with members, both active and retired, in the event of a death, accident or important event.  You can get on the list by contacting Tim at the hall.

Welcome to the 18 new brothers in Local 34 (Indianapolis).  These new brothers came to the IUEC through the efforts of members of the Indianapolis local reaching out to their non-union brothers at Amco Elevator.  Amco was eventually purchased on January 1 by Thyssen-Krupp.  This added 2000 units to their portfolio and brought these new members into the local.  Their outreach efforts can be a model for further efforts by the IUEC and is applicable to other trades.

Where are they working?

Ron Rittwage and Taurus Ogletree at Lorain County Community College installing a four-stop hydro for Schindler,

Tom Gombar and Chris Scholle at Judson Manor doing machine work and cabling for Kone,

Mike Miller and Ric Supinski doing inspections at Eaton Corp headquarters for Otis,

Don Knapik and Dave Grantham at PNC installing phones and speakers for Schindler,

Neil Beechuk and Nick Meyer at St. John’s Hospital finishing a job for Otis,

Dave Francis and John Masko at Southerly doing a mod for Schindler,

Kevin Thomas and Matt Johnson at Southwest General Hospital for Thyssen,

Joe Broz Jr. and Dave Adrian doing a jack at Case Western for Thyssen,

Gerard Szmerkovsky and Craig Nolty at Hunting Valley installing a three-stop hydro for Otis, and

Gary Thompson and Joe Sumph doing a two-car mod at Regency Towers for Schindler.

Local 17 sends its condolences to the families of Brothers Tom Kelly and Mark Carollo who lost their fathers and Brother John Patton who lost his mother.

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

Till next month…

Work smart, work safe and slow down for safety

 

Don

Dknapik@windstream.net

Retiree’s Dinner Date Set

On Friday, April 19, 2013 IUEC Local 17 will honor our retired members at Frank Sterle’s Slovenian Restaurant, 1401 East 55th Street.  Refreshments will be served at 5:30 and dinner will begin at 6:30.  As always, this is a members only event.  The cost at the door is $30 per person and includes the family-style dinner.

ALL RETIRED MEMBERS ATTEND FREE, BUT A REPLY SHOULD BE SENT IN FOR A RESERVATION.

Please contact Business Agent Tim Moennich at the hall, 3250 Euclid Ave, at 216-431-8088 or by email at TMoennich@iueclocal17.org for your reservation.

February Cleveland Citizen

Brothers and sisters:

John Taylor is currently teaching a course in solid state motor control.  This is a 20-hour class over five nights and started February 5th.  While many were not able to get in on this class, Local 17 in association with Lincoln Electric is once again offering their popular welding class.  This is a 40-hour class that meets for four hours a night for two weeks and offers the opportunity for a 3G and 4G certification.  The class is taught by the instructors of Lincoln, the world’s leading manufacturer of welding equipment and supplies, at their world headquarters in Euclid.  This is a rare opportunity to learn or refine a valuable skill at a world-class facility in our backyard.  If you are interested, please contact Business Agent Tim Moennich at the hall at 216-431-8088 or by email at TMoennich@iueclocal17.org.

It is my sad duty to report that Charles Buchanan of Local 5 (Philadelphia), a Schindler mechanic, lost his life on December 29th.  The accident happened while he was working on a dumbwaiter at a Philadelphia area casino.  He was 54.  While the specifics of the accident are being investigated, this should be a reminder that ours is, at best, a dangerous occupation so vigilance about safety is not only important, but crucial to our going home every night.

IUEC Local 17 maintains an email list for immediate communication with members, both active and retired, in the event of a death, accident or important events.  You can get on the list by contacting Tim at the hall.

New York City (Local 1) and Houston, Texas (Local 31) are looking for help.  If you are willing to travel or know of someone who would be, please have them contact Tim at the hall.

Buffalo, New York Local 14’s Vice President Bill Schaber was featured on the Union Sportsman Alliance TV program Brotherhood Outdoors which originally aired Sunday, January 13th.  The episode featured Schaber bowfishing Asian carp in Illinois.  For more information and showtimes you can go to unionsportsmen.org.

IUEC organizer Jim Chapman reported that effective January 1, Thyssen-Krupp purchased non-union Amco Elevator in Indianapolis (Local 34).  This is a large gain for the local because it brings eighteen new members into the fold and adds 2000 units to Thyssen’s portfolio.  According to Chapman the acquisition happened because the members of Local 34 reached out to the Amco employees and convinced them that joining the IUEC was the best thing to do.  The sale to Thyssen came about after it was clear the employees wanted union representation.  Moving forward, this approach can be a model for all the trades.

There will be a vote at the February meeting on International resolutions to make a three trustee board to regularly audit the books of the International and add two vice-president positions.  While this is not a mandatory meeting, it is important that all members be present to hear and vote on the resolutions.

The entire Local 17 family sends their condolences to the families of Brothers Tom Kelly and Mark Carollo who both lost their fathers and Brother John Patton who lost his mother.

 

 

February Elevator Constructor

Brothers and sisters:

At the December meeting the body voted to accept a $30 per quarter dues increase.  This is in accordance with the by-law passed last year giving the Trustees the authority to raise dues $10 per quarter if necessary and any additional increase voted on by the body.  This increase took affect with the first quarter 2013 dues.  If you have any questions, please contact Business Agent Tim Moennich.

Tim would also like to remind everyone to keep their contact information up to date with the local.  Local 17 also has an email list that you can be part of to receive updates as they become available.  You can email Tim at TMoennich@iueclocal17.org with your email address or use the link available on the website iueclocal17.org.

If anyone has news of an event (birth, death, engagement) or if you finally shot that big buck you coveted, please send photos and information to me at dknapik@windstream.net and I will get them into the Constructor or on to the website.

After Michigan passed Right-to-Work-For-Less, I heard from the Detroit apprentice we all knew and loved as “Kid Rock.”  He reported that although he did not pass his Mechanics Test he feels confident he will nail it the next time around.  He also wanted me to send a large thank you to everyone in Local 17 that made him feel part of our family during his stay. “What they (Michigan’s legislature) don’t realize is that union brothers took me in when I was in need and I am very grateful for that.”  Here’s to hoping that Michigan voters do to RTWFL what Ohioans did to SB5.

I have always said that the Cleveland area has a core of very talented individuals in every walk of life and Local 17 is no exception.  Retired brother Len Kessler publishes a newsletter called Northern Lights where he talks about the ups and downs of his luncheon group, tours covered bridges in Ohio and ruminates on events of the day.  He is helped along by his faithful assistant Ben who tells things from his corner of the world.  I would encourage any retiree or friend of one to subscribe to Len’s publication and support it any way possible.  You can contact Len at cyberlen@adelphia.net.

Where are they working?

Kevin Thomas and Matt Johnson are working at the hotel on the Flats East Bank for Thyssen,

Kenny Jung and Dave Adrian are doing service work for Thyssen,

Jim Archer and Ryan Todd at Southerly Sewage doing a one-car modernization for Schindler,

Tim Narowitz and Pat McCann doing a mod at Quarrytown  for Thysssen,

Gerard Szmerkovsky and Craig Nolty installing a three-stop traction at the airport for Otis,

Matt Pinchot and Jeff Ward at the Clinic Art Building doing a two-car mod for Otis,

Dave Burke and Max Desotell doing service work for Edmonds,

Jason Sohayda and Lucas Janke doing a modernization at Thisledown for Otis,

Greg Seaman and Scott Erison installing a three-stop hydro at the Residences in Hunting Valley for Otis and,

Mike Miller and Joe Gauker installing a three-stop elevator at the Ronald McDonald House for Otis.

 

Local 17 sends its condolences to the families of retired brother John Namestnik who recently passed away and retired brother George Prochaska whose wife Marie passed away.

 

Till next month…

Work smart, work safe and slow down for safety,

 

Don

Dknapik@windstream.net