January Elevator Constructor

Brothers and sisters:

The New Year is a time for making promises of all sorts.  Some we intend to keep others we know we won’t.  Regardless of whether you really will quit smoking, dust off the stationary bike or lose that spare tire, make one of your resolutions be to always keep those that are less fortunate in your thoughts, prayers and actions.  There are many who suffer in lonely silence all year and are only remembered at this time.  Sometimes all it takes is saying hello or taking a few minutes to chat.  You never know what good you can do until you try.

At the Tri-State meeting, President Christensen reported that Jim Higgins resigned his position as Assistant General President and will be working as a regional director and organizer.  He was replaced by Jim Bender, a regional director from Local 19 (Seattle).   Immediately on Christensen’s to-do list is updating the office computers, grievance tracking system and the Journal.  He also emphasized that the International will do a better job communicating Article IV violations and said that if a job print says “work by others” and it is our work, just do it.

Here is a little tidbit that mirrors the nation as a whole.  In 1996 the IUEC had seven members working for every one retiree.  That ratio is now two to one.

The organizers reported that non-union Oracle Elevator had the contract at OSU and lost it after we placed there two best mechanics in Local 34 (Indianapolis).  As a result, Oracle is having a hard time doing business in Columbus.  Congratulations to those two mechanics for joining us.  When you talk to your former workmates show them the back of your card and all the benefits you receive for being a member of the best trade in the trades.  It is truly an eye opening experience.

Schindler employees are being advised NOT to sign the company’s vehicle policy.  There is a DMV form which has been approved by the International.

Every year St. Colman’s Church on West 65th has a St. Colman’s Day celebration and this year they honored the Cleveland building trades unions.  Representing Local 17 was former local vice-president, JATC board member and instructor Jim Ross.

Thinking about it, there are far few people that can better represent Local 17 than Jim.  His effervescent personality and ability to light up a room with his humor are legendary.  Many reading this owe their success to Jim.  Whether it was working with him in the field, talking with him over a cup of cardboard brown coffee, bringing a friend with him to the Labor Day Softball Tournament or seeing him work in the classroom, Jim Ross is in that small class of Constructors who truly made and continue to make a positive contribution to the trade.  Thank you.


Where are they working?

Joe Broz Jr. and Doug LaFontaine doing brake work at Indian Hills for Thyssen,

Don Knapik and Eric Cossgrove replacing door sills at UH Lot 61 for Schindler,

Jason Faber and Cory Sanchez doing service work at Lake Park Towers for Thyssen,

Darrell Scislo and Max Destotell doing full-load tests at Parma Police Station for Otis,

Jim Archer and Ryan Todd doing a mod at the Huntington Bank Building in Berea for Schindler,

John Brunner and Jim Rogers installing a four-stop hydro at Emerald Alliance for Schindler,

Kevin Thomas and Pat McCann installing a hydro at Maisley’s Dairy for Thyssen,

Bill Sellers and John Hofstetter doing service work for Schindler,

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

Tom Gombar and Dave Francis doing a jack at Terrace House for Kone.


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


Till next month,

Work smart, work safe and slow down for safety.