September ’18 Labor Citizen

Brothers and sisters:

IUEC Local 17 made it’s presence known at the annual North Shore Federation of Labor Picnic and Softball Tournament at Parma’s James Day Park over the Labor Day holiday.
Good hitting on offense was countered by inconsistent fielding on defense to allow Ironworkers 17 and Boilermakers 744 to make short work of our team. A big thanks to Brothers Ryan Todd and Entertainment Chairman Mike Moennich for fielding a team and coaching them in so short a span. For photos of the event and others go to the Local’s website,

Apprentice classes are just beginning and it is good to remind everyone to keep their JATC forms up to date. These are important records of your progress and time in the trade. They are also required by the Department of Labor. Do not be the one to have to answer to the JATC for not turning in your forms. Nothing good happens.

Apprenticeship interviews will be held shortly and the new hire list available to the companies soon after. To those who will be working with these green Constructors, safety; yours, theirs and those around you, must be the overriding priority for the short term. Some will come to us with skills from the other trades, it is your responsibility to teach them how to apply those skills to our trade to make their learning process and your job easier.

No job is so important it can’t be done safely. SLOW DOWN FOR SAFETY!

Business Manager John Driscoll, Jr. would like to remind everyone who has a change of address, marital or family status or emergency information to contact him at the hall at 216-431-8088 or email him at Also a reminder that all job changes and jobs that will last two days or longer must be reported to the hall.

If you are not registered to vote what are you waiting for? The deadline to register or change your registration if you have a name or address change is October 9th. You can register or make the needed changes at many government offices or your county board of elections.


As I write this, Senator John McCain is being laid to rest. I won’t go into his resume, that has been well documented and commented on in the media, instead I sit here and ponder the effect it has on his family and his affect on America.

It has been an emotional week for the McCain family as they attended services for the late Senator in Phoenix, the Capitol rotunda and the National Cathedral before his burial at the US Naval Academy in Annapolis.

Through it all his daughter Meghan has stood front center in forcefully speaking for her father and the ideals he stood for over his long public life. The following excerpt from her final tribute I believe sums up his life and the America he believed in.

Meghan McCain told mourners at the cathedral: “We gather here to mourn the passing of American greatness.

“The real thing, not cheap rhetoric from men who will never come near the sacrifice he gave so willingly, nor the opportunistic appropriation of those who live lives of comfort and privilege while he suffered and served.

“The America of John McCain is generous and welcoming and bold, she is resourceful and confident and secure, she meets her responsibilities, she speaks quietly because she is strong.
“America does not boast, because she does not need to. The America of John McCain has no need to be made great again, because America was always great.”

Well said Meghan. Well said.



September ’18 Elevator Constructor

Local 17 article for September ’18 Constructor

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

If you are not registered to vote, REGISTER and SHOW UP AT THE POLLS! Remember, if you do not vote, you lose your right to complain. Period.

This year more than ever highlights the phrase the Right used as a warning from 2008 to 2016 and rings even louder with every early morning Twitter feed: elections have consequences.

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

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

Elections have consequences.

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

Elections have consequences.

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

Elections, my friends, have consequences.

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

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

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

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

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

Until next month,

Work smart, work safe and slow down for safety.



August ’18 Elevator Constructor

Brothers and sisters:

I have been fortunate to have worked with three Local 17 Brothers who, over the last three months, joined the ranks of our retired Brothers. Each in their own way played a significant part in my career and I owe them a debt of gratitude. If it was not for these and the others who took the time to teach me some of the finer points of the trade, I do not know where I would be today.

According to NEIEP, the average apprentice spends only five percent of their time in classroom related activities. This means that the remaining 95 percent is spent with their mechanic in the field learning the trade from the ground up. By all measure, our jobs are not getting easier. Recabling underslung cars, replacing MRL machines and their associated sheaves regardless of whether they are belted or cabled, working on controllers on the buck and drives in the overhead all call for a certain skill set we are only developing now.

This does not mean that the skills seasoned mechanics have acquired over the years are obsolete. Skills are being applied in new ways to meet the demands of todays equipment. I was recently working on a cable job and the lead mechanic took the time to explain to the apprentice why we picked the car as high as we did, why we needed holdbacks and how to measure for wedged shackles. These are all finer points of the job he will carry forward during his career.

If you as a mechanic are not teaching your apprentice something everyday, then you are failing them. You will leave them dumber and less capable of handling the challenges they will later face. You are also making it harder for them to continue working to pay the pension hours needed to sustain you in retirement.

Not every apprentice takes the initiative to learn something new or is even capable of retaining what they experience. Point taken. Selling every apprentice short today, though, only cuts you short tomorrow.

Think about it.

If you know someone who is looking to get in the best trade in the trades, the apprenticeship application for Local 17 will be closing soon. To apply go to the NEIEP website,, cursor down to Upcoming Recruitments and click on the link for Local 17. Please realize that each applicant must meet every deadline in order to be considered for a spot on the list. Good luck!

Where are they working?

Kevin Driscoll and Jason Tischler at Kresswell Apartments doing water damage repair for Schindler,

Gary Thompson, Brian Siether, Ryan Todd and Zack Lanum doing a four-car mod at CSU Rhodes Tower for Schindler,

John Patton and Joe Gauker doing escalator clean downs at JC Penney’s in Parma for Kone,

John Patton and Joe Gauker doing escalator clean downs at Midway Mall in Elyria for Kone,

Tom Gombar and Tim Moore doing a jack at Rockside Park Towers for Kone,

Mark Byram and Felix DeJesus doing a one-car mod at Playhouse Square for Schindler,

Joe Gauker running a car at the Cleveland Athletic Club for Kone,

Scott Villanueva and Zach Miller at Fairview Hospital doing door work for Otis,

Anthony Metcalf and Tony Kuhn starting a one-car mod at Shaker Courts Apartments for Thyssen,

Dan Tinner and Shane Huff starting a two-car mod at Bridlewood Apartments in Westlake for Otis,

Ric Supinski on a 13 car construction job in Marquette, Michigan for Otis.
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.