On the Job March 2024 head

By Jana Ašenbrennerová | contributing photographer

Before the break of dawn one frigid Saturday morning last month, a gang of up-and-at-’em IUEC Local 8 members and a small support crew of equally ready-to-rock operating engineers assembled in front of San Francisco City Hall to get cracking on a unique modernization project.

The day’s job would be a heavy lift, literally. The elevator constructors’ marching orders were to pull the old guts out of City Hall’s aging elevator system — from the top of the building, no less — and replace them with safer, more efficient, and more reliable modern mechanisms and components. Many of said mechanisms and components happen to weigh a ton.

As starlight turned to foggy daylight, the big job got underway. The bed of a truck parked on the temporarily closed-off stretch of Polk Street in front of City Hall had been stocked with new elevator equipment that would have to make its way from the ground to its new home in the mechanical room on the roof of City Hall. Fortunately, a towering OE Local 3-helmed crane stood at the ready to assist in delivering the goods.

The elevator constructors down on Polk Street spent their workday rigging up the new parts for airlift via the crane pick up to the mechanical room, where more elevator constructors were stationed to guide the deliveries through an opening in the ceiling and get them set in place and temp-wired. Among the replacement elements were a fresh controller and new machine — those hefty elevator “guts” that respectively serve as the basic brain and main driver of the whole up-and-down operation.

In addition to bringing in the new stuff, the mechanical room crew rigged up all of the old elevator bits for removal and got them safely attached to the crane pick, which delivered each one to the ground crew for derigging and disposal.

This project, whose general contractor was Otis Elevator, also involved the removal and replacement of final-limit and terminal-limit switches, the fitting of new traveling cables for the elevator cabs, and more.

Overall, it was a job of significant magnitude for Local 8 and a true group effort. Enjoy the photos.

Organized Labor

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