Editor’s Note: IUEC Local 1 Business Manager and President Lenny Legotte will be honored along with CWA Local 1180 President Gloria Middleton; CWA Local 1180 President Emeritus Arthur Cheliotes; NYPD Det. Michael Lollo and DC1707 Executive Director Kim Medina at LaborPress’ 8th Annual Heroes of Labor Awards on Thursday, October 3.
New York, NY – For years, the International Union of Elevator Constructors Local Union One, under Legotte’s leadership, has lobbied for New York State legislation requiring safety training and licensing for elevator mechanics throughout the city and state. Poor enforcement of city safety standards and unscrupulous contractors has resulted in dangerous conditions for those repairing elevators as well as the millions of residents that use elevators every day.
With 22 people killed in elevators in New York City and 48 seriously injured from 2010 to 2018, this growing crisis needed to be addressed – Letotte and Local 1 stepped up to the plate. It should be noted that more than half of the fatalities were mechanics who had never been required by city or state laws to undergo training.
Through Legotte’s efforts and leadership, along with key employers and community leaders, critical legislation has been passed which was first introduced in 2011. With this bill in place, the state’s Department of Labor and the city’s Department of Buildings will now issue statewide and city-based licenses that will require critical safety and skills training for those involved in repairing elevators.
Legotte is a graduate of the National Labor College; he and wife Marcy have three children – Amanda, Jake and Anna. Legotte is described as an “All around good guy,” by Michael Halpin, director of Legislation for the Elevator Industry Work Preservation Fund. Of the legislation, Halpin, who also worked on it, says, “We passed what is called the New York State Elevator Safety Act in June, 2019. It sets minimum education and training requirements for an elevator mechanic, licensing of elevator mechanics, and mandates statewide elevator inspections. New York was one of the few remaining states that did not have these standards in place. We worked on getting this passed for about eight years. We have our own training program for apprentices and the standards in the new legislation will match theirs.”
Says Legotte – “It’s going to be a game changer for elevator safety, for the riding public and for the whole state of New York. There are different components – the licensing, obtaining the license, and the continuing education portion. In essence, it’s going to make the elevator workers a lot more responsible and qualified and that goes back to their own safety and the safety of the riding public.”