For a CECAF that is worth it
The experienced businessman in the sector and new figure in sectorial politics spoke to Revista del Ascensor with the passion and drive that characterize him. In the report, he clearly outlines the lines of action that he wants to apply within the sector, in a very ambitious management in which he will count on several members of the commission that has just finished its mandate.
Revista del Ascensor: – Your arrival at this stage is the crowning of a meteoric and ambitious union career. What motivated you to run and when did you start thinking about doing it?
Manuel Premaries: – Fundamentally the desire to be able to do something for the union. Among CECAF members, few of us feel this desire to collaborate. I think that one brings that as a child, that desire to participate, to wish to do something for others. Those of us who get into this have surely participated in some event at school, always standing out for that innate gift we have to serve, and surely to try to change things. I recognize that there is a lot of triumph and positivity in trying to achieve things. I am one of those who, in a large percentage, get what they want. So let us hope that running CECAF will not be the exception.
R del A.: – What does the sector need to grow? A change of mentality, values?
M.P.: – Surely yes. We need a change of mentality and values. First, we need to feel like entrepreneurs; no matter the tax figure, we are attached. We have to feel like an entrepreneur and act like one. In the country where we live, and with the current economy, we have to face certain situations such as the economy of our companies, dealing with the tax burden, salaries, training, and supporting the entire structure in motion. The money we invest for this purpose requires us to become professional. The fundamental value to change this situation, to make the sector grow, lies in a change of mentality, which is to feel like an entrepreneur. I think that is the most important. If we do not feel it, we will not walk like such, and neither as a Chamber, therefore. If we limit ourselves to taking care of the fifth, and I am talking about those not associated with CECAF, which in many cases are the ones who reduce their incomes, settle for little, and have no holidays. They have no life and no free hours for their family. In this way, we will not advance.-
R del A.: – Do you think it is feasible to achieve your aspirations within the sector?
M.P.: – I think so; otherwise I would not have agreed to take hours out of my family to attend the sector.
I hope this does not sound like an excuse, but other factors also intervene, other people who play in this challenge of carrying out the CECAF. And I am not talking about the Commission; I am talking about external people. I am positive; I am moving forward trying not to harm anyone’s life. I am frontal, I dose my opinions, seeing what to say and what not to avoid hurting people’s sensibilities and taking everyone into account, all the time.
R del A.:- How do you imagine your relationship with the City government will be and what do you hope to achieve from that relationship? Did you find the officials’ statements to Revista del Ascensor encouraging?
M.P.: – Good, as long as the City Government tries to give us a hand by assisting us, listening to us, and logically granting some demands we have been asking for years and years for our sector. The time has come to clarify many issues:
Those that refer to license plates, maintenance licenses, the coordinated inspection visits they carry out on us, and put our face at the disposal of the inspectors who are going to carry them out. There are many issues that we have to agree with the Government to reach a good port with them. We got here saying that CECAF has to occupy another place that deserves and all the colleagues are convinced of this. The relationships are going to be good as long as the Government complies with us that is how it is. Regarding the statements the Government gave to Revista del Ascensor, I do not see them encouraging at all.
They threw the ball outside. I do not agree with classifying companies when you do not know what you are talking about. I do not think that the people who are in the Government, except the inspectors who are with us every day on the street, know what we know about elevators. Therefore, from that side, you cannot give an opinion. But in the government is about kicking the ball very far. We say: “Look, we would like to address the fines issues, which have nothing to do with renewing the maintenance license” and they respond: “Well, that corresponds to another sector of the administration, and you have to go there to process it.”
They do not seem encouraging to me at all if I have to go somewhere else and when it comes time to pay a fine, you pay it and that is all, because you need to have your license renewed.
R del A.: – And with your fellow Chambers, are you thinking about building bridges or will it continue as it is?
M.P.: – With colleagues, we already have bridges, but nothing is going to remain as it is. We are going to work so that we are all better every day, but knowing that I belong to CECAF and that we have to think first in our own improvement. We have talked about this on another occasion; we consider that we are the cornerstone of this column.
Everything revolves around us and everything happens through us, no matter how arrogant it may sound. If you start to analyze, we are the maintainers: We install and preserve, so we do not agree when we are told that there is no price for a spare part. We need to buy and there are companies who help us a lot; I am talking about Trimarchi, Beltek and Saitek who are the people who generally give us a hand. I do not have the pleasure of knowing others, they have spoken very well to me about many others but I do not have a deal. Pay attention to this: we are constantly waiting for the decisions of third parties when we are the ones that have to deal with the problems and put in the effort, finance, go buy a spare part and pay what we are asked for, and charge what we are suggested to charge. And this due to the number of maintenance companies that are non-nucleated, outside of CECAF. Of course, we want to build bridges with our colleagues and suppliers who are bridges with all of us, but in a way that suits us and considers us.
We, the maintainers are the only suppliers to our clients, who are the ones who pay and where all the money comes from for the service we provide them and is what flows to the entire rest of the industry. During my presidency, we will work to improve all this.
R del A.: – Have you considered how to ensure that installers and conservators have a clear and strong voice when legislation on Vertical Transportation is legislated?
M.P.: – Yes, it will be talking with the AGC and the people of the Government from day one. We will dialogue with our suppliers, the manufacturers, and with other chambers. Chatting, reaching agreements, and showing them that we are the cornerstone of this column and that we worth. We come to be honest, and sincere. We come to claim what we consider ours, without leaving out anyone that makes up the great family that is the elevator industry, for which we work so hard.
We do not give ourselves the importance and the place we have to occupy. The maintainers of C.A.B.A are the ones that maintain the most machines in the entire country, more than many and very important chambers in the rest of the country. Honestly we move the ammeter when buying, paying, billing and yet, but it seems not everybody has realized this.
R del A.: – In the CD that you will preside over there are members of the previous administration, is there a way of saying that you value their management?
M.P.: – Yes, there is. My opinion of them is very good and they have had a management full of achievements. There was a lot of media exposure. New partners joined the Chamber, and others have left, but we come with a different imprint, with another force. Members of the previous management that stayed are useful; we need them in this new stage, as their management has been very good. Here everything is ad honorem, no one charges money, and then it is important to take advantage of the experience of the people who have been at the forefront of this. Politically we are different, we think differently, now it is our turn with our ideas and our imprint.
R del A.: – Can you tell us some ideas that you plan to implement?
M.P.: – For now, I have to keep this answer, because first, we have to discuss the issues in the Board of Directors meetings. We have just take over. However, I am going to give you one scoop: We are going to seek a good relationship with the AGC due to everything previously discussed in this note. We want to establish a strong, friendly, and co-dependent relationship with them. We are going to try to show them our world as it is; ours is an approach to the AGC searching for the sector to change definitively. So that the elevator maintainer can be as he should be. From this point on everything is going to flow, including Revista del Ascensor that represents us, and also the component suppliers. In one word, all of us who make up this wonderful world of the elevator.
R del A.: – For sure, the success of your administration will also depend on the country’s economic improvement. Are you optimistic about it?
M.P.: – I do not think it should be based solely on that. I would not even say a little. The CECAF will not depend on whether the country is more or less economically viable. I think it will depend onthe imprint or the strength that we put on it to incorporate new partners so that the partners and the maintainers understand once and for all, that we must create a strong CECAF in which all maintainers pull in the same direction. We cannot live having bad competition among us. The elevator park is huge, there is work for everyone. We can all benefit and the best thing is that we are together in one spot. CECAF has to be strong and we will get it. I am very optimistic; I believe that people are good, that we all have many good things to give. I think we all want the same thing, but it is true that we are full of uncertainty because the union is new. Since the multinationals stopped taking over the entire market and we appeared to take their place and do it. Therefore, from here I draw the conclusion that we are still new, and that we have a new world and things to solve and a CECAF to praise.
I am sure that we are going to achieve the medium or long-term objectives and we are going to lay the foundations for our entity to acquire the solidity it needs to have.
R del A.: – What, in your opinion, are the most important problems affecting the profession now?
M.P.: – The lack of goodwill that exists with the maintainers who remain outside the CECAF.The fear of participating, of joining, of having a path marked out for them, is something that is not going to happen because the CECAF is and must be democratic. We want colleagues who are not here to come to the Chamber because here we listen to everyone. Eventually we listen to all of them to try to make a large entity. The little camaraderie, opening a pseudo-company with few machines and staying hidden and not talking to a colleague…The fear of frustrations, of not being able to participate…Fear paralyzes and is a big problem that threatens healthy growth of the sector. The other path, which some choose, is to not care about anything and go out to “kill” the colleague. We have had those situations in CECAF, we are purging them. Here no one gets fired. The previous management did everything possible to make members stay, but there are people with whom you cannot get along well. However, this happens in all corporations and chambers. Always some privilege their interest without looking at whom they harm. All maintainers must know that they must be within the CECAF because times and technologies are changing. We are opening the labor market to a lot of possibilities and situations and for that; we have to have a base in terms of prices and quality of the work that we are going to offer. For all of this, we must be together and be stronger to receive what corresponds to us and what we honestly believe we should receive. We believe that a profession that demands so much time, training, and responsibility should be rewarded with a fair and logical profit.