Portland-headquartered International Union of Elevator Constructors (IUEC) Local 23 will hold a runoff election Jan. 9 to elect a new top officer. Three candidates vied to succeed retiring business representative Mike Bodendorfer — current president Randy Carmony, current vice president Dave Tremain, and trustee Bobby Dukes. In mail ballots counted Dec. 12, Carmony and Tremain outpolled Dukes, but neither won more than 50 percent of the vote, thus triggering the runoff.
IUEC Local 23 covers all of Oregon plus six southwest Washington counties. Its 215 members build and maintain elevators, escalators, moving walkways, and dumbwaiters. Elevator construction is a specialized trade. Local 23 members earn $47.19 an hour and receive $30.75 an hour in benefits under a nationwide labor agreement with IUEC’s employer group, National Elevator Industry, Inc. (NEII).
The master agreement runs through July 8, 2017.
“It’s a damn good living,” Bodendorfer said. “You work hard, but you’re paid well for it.”
Bodendorfer, 64, is retiring after one term as business representative — and an elevator constructor career spanning four decades. He got his start in the trade in 1972 when he went to work at a Chicago company that manufactured freight elevator doors, where his wife worked as a secretary. He became an apprentice in IUEC Chicago Local 2. In 1999 Bodendorfer and his wife moved to Portland when he accepted a job with Sound Elevator and transferred to Local 23. The company was later acquired by ThyssenKrupp Elevator.
Bodendorfer says when he took office in 2011, members were calling up the union worried about losing their homes. But work has picked up since then, and the local now has close to full employment, and even added several new apprentices earlier this year.
Business representative, a full-time paid position, was the only contested office in the officer elections. Candidates for all other offices ran unopposed and were elected by acclamation. Those are: president, Dan Coyle; vice president, Scott Augst; treasurer, Bob Pyne; recording secretary, Dan Garrett; warden, Gene Stratton; correspondent, Dan Coyle; Executive Board members Lance Martin and Lonnie Mathews; and trustee, Les Johns. Trustees, Executive Board members and the business representative serve three-year terms. All other offices have one-year terms.