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getting a new job, joining the union...

Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by muddysub, Nov 16, 2006.

  1. muddysub

    muddysub 1 ton suburban status Staff Member Moderator GMOTM Winner

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    i was offered a job for a shop that is union only. ive never even considered going union, it always seemed to me like a backup plan for guys who couldnt cut it. ive known guys that change jobs every 3 months because they cant hold a job on their own merits, but the union helps them out and keeps them employed... i totally disagreed with things like that since ive worked my ass off to get to where im at now. i went to a diesel specific program in a trade high school, then went to UTI (tech college), ive got an associates in mechanical engineering... i didnt want my name associated with something like that. but my best friend is in the union and ive been talking with him about it a lot over the last few months, and it seems to be an alright deal. yeah there are the ones that are there because they need it but there's a lot of guys who are in it because they realize the benifits cant be matched anywhere else. its not all low lifes who need the help. so i did something i never thought id do today, and signed up... the company im going to work for is paying for me to enter the union so they can have me as an employee. i guess this is kind of a big thing huh? like i said ive never even considered it before. ill be getting more money, better benifits and working for a better more stable company than i do now. im kinda nervous about the whole thing but at the same time, so relieved to not have to work for the place im at anymore...

    what is the collective opinion here about uniuons? has anyone been in my shoes before that can relate? like i said im excited about the changes and learning new things but at the same time nervous... ive been the new guy at shops before, (which at 22yrs old isnt easy in a field dominated by 40+ yr old guys) but this whole union thing is a big change of pace for me.
     
  2. 79k20350

    79k20350 3/4 ton status

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    I joined the carpenters union the day i turned 18. Is it the only option out there? No. Is it the best one? For some no, for some yes... I know there are alot of people who are anti union...I am a acoutsical ceiling guy and my company works for union/ non union contractors and i work on union/ non union jobs, but being that my company is union, i always recieve my union benefits.. so ill share my expieriences so far... (i am in commercial work...i dont believe unions so really do much residential, its not the right market)

    Pay/ Benefits- Pay is at average rate for a standard carpenter in the area (our rate is 26.16)
    Benefits include 3.95 an hour for annuity, 5.50 for pension, and 6.50 for health care... There are other little odds and ends but these are the big ticket items...

    Workforce- From what ive seen the Union work force is MUCH better than the non union. The typical non union workforce in my area is mexican (and this is ct, i couldnt imagine texas:eek1:) The quality of work is no where near what we put out. The time it take is about the same (except for the fact that they usually have to go back and redo it:rolleyes:)

    I will admit there ae alot of bums in the union. These guys do come up. They dont last long though. Yes they do jump from company to company but they never last long. To last long for a union company just do what you do now. Show up when your supposed to and work your ass of... The way i look at it is simple, i may get paid the same but by working my ass off ill work year round and they wont:wink1: To last long in a union company (and not be jumping around, you have to be a company guy, not a union guy)

    Work- Union jobs always seem to be better, and safer. Quality is usually better.

    All in all it has its goods and its bads. for me it was the right choice. In our local its 30 credits to retire without penalty. you can earn 1.2 credits per year. 30/ 1.2= 25 yrs. 25+18= 43! SO that means i have the chance to retire by the time im 43 without penalty and have a full pension and anniuity:D Any questions feel free to ask or pm
     
  3. Bubba Ray Boudreaux

    Bubba Ray Boudreaux 1 ton status

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    Unions are pretty much the warts on the a**hole of America................

    Been in two, didn't care for them much. The first one (Teamsters) had a lot more say over the work place than the second (SEIU).

    I could go on and on about their crap, like using your union dues to pay for all the political crap endorsing whatever pinko commie slimeball of the week that appeals to them. I'll refrain though.

    You might get lucky and actually get a union that is worth something, but don't hold your breath.................
     
  4. boggerless

    boggerless 1 ton status Premium Member

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    your right. the UAW is the biggest offender around here. but the pipefitters union is pretty cool.i have no union for what i do.and thats prolly good concidering the lazy fooks i work with without a union.
     
  5. 4by4bygod

    4by4bygod 1/2 ton status

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    Having spent a decade in union environments, I offer the following..

    If you like the job enough to pay the union to keep it, then a union is ok...like anything, it's its own world, filled with good, the bad and the ugly..

    an upside is higher wages and bennies, downside is the company can say F it all and move to china.. an upside is the workers have a collective voice.. downside is what if the voices don't speak for you? will you honor a picket line, even when the house and car note are due? can you deal with being told how to vote, or have your dues money used to support politicians you hate?

    look in the papers and watch what's happening to goodyear.. all the union can do is stand there and watch it happen.. employees aren't valued, and nobody's irreplaceable.. employees cost money, and union employees cost more.

    Union or not, you are still trading hours for dollars, and having a union means you have to serve two masters, not just the company.. oh yeah, you can also run the risk of having your car vandalized or ass kicked if you don't follow the herd..

    just some things to think about...

    Tom
     
  6. jekbrown

    jekbrown I am CK5 Premium Member GMOTM Winner Author

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    unions blow... but if the company is going to pay the dues... its sort of in the "why not" catagory. That wouldn't change my opinion of unions though. They do WAY to much to coddle the crappy worker while simultaneously holding back the "go getter" guy. Toss in the criminally immoral act of using member dues to make political campaign contributions and its not the kind of thing that can be justified. In your shoes I'd probably join because I had too, but it sure as hell wouldn't be a secret in the break room what I thought of the idea.

    Unions are a 20th century answer to a 19th century problem. I'm not in a union and yet I get fantastic benefits.... somehow! :) I'm not worried about my company "screwing" me. The truth is, if they really screw me, I can sue for a boatload of cash and retire. I almost want them to abuse me. Ahhh well. ;) In any case, I don't need a union.

    j
     
  7. Corey 78K5

    Corey 78K5 1 ton status

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    My Dad retired about 5 years ago from the Operating Engineers. He never once went to a union meeting and all of the literature he received in the mail was always tossed in the fire place. He never wanted to deal with the politics of it and just treated it as a job. He was an "ace" mechanic when he retired and was the only one in his district. He actually only worked in the union for 18 years and was offered an extra $800 a month if he retired two years early to make room for new apprentice. He makes $4800 a month on his retirement which is pretty damn good for 18 years.
     
  8. muddysub

    muddysub 1 ton suburban status Staff Member Moderator GMOTM Winner

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    my dad was that way in the carpenters union. never went to a meeting, never got involved in the politics and retired at 45yrs old. i plan to do the same thing... i dont even vote so i could give a **** less about the political standpoints, and i have no intention of ever going to a meeting or anything. and i sure as hell wouldnt go on strike for any ****ing thing, thats just retarded.
     
  9. jekbrown

    jekbrown I am CK5 Premium Member GMOTM Winner Author

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    correct me if I'm wrong... but if you're in an all-union shop... and they go on strike... and you are a union member, don't you have to go on strike with them? I mean, breaking a strike seems like a "we're kicking you out of the union!" worthy.. don't it? I guess it depends on how militant your union is. I don't want to go on strike.. I'd rather get paid, but what do I know!

    j
     
  10. 4by4bygod

    4by4bygod 1/2 ton status

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    Ok, so you're willing to enjoy the higher wages & bennies, but aren't willing to sacrifice ( go on strike) to keep it if needs be?

    Not that I'm all about unions, BUT..

    Attitudes like that are why the labor movement is dying in this country.. it sounds like you expect the union to be the path of prosperity for you, so you should at least be prepared to do what it takes to keep it strong enough to support you.. otherwise, you will be viewed as a parasite by the brotherhood..

    Do what you want, but I'd advise against sharing that mindset with your union brothers..

    Tom
     
  11. Larry_in_Tx

    Larry_in_Tx 1/2 ton status

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    Not all unions are about going on strike. I’ve been a member of the IBEW since ’91 and we’ve had a no strike clause in our contract as long as I’ve been around. Actually here in Houston the F’n janitors are trying to form a union and are picketing all around town trying to prove a point what ever it may be. Besides making asses of themselves and anyone associated with a union, they’ve ran off any support they would have got from the L.U.s because of how they’re going about all of it.
    I can’t speak for all unions but it just doesn’t work like that in this town.
     
  12. chalet2506

    chalet2506 1/2 ton status Premium Member

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    I was a teamster at UPS for 5 years. Didn't care for it. It seemed to me they only looked after the slackers. I was there for the strike in '97. That was a strike about nothing, just Ron Carey trying to prove he was tougher than Hoffa, Jr. My opinion of Unions doesn't amount to much. Seems to me that they've pretty much outlived their usefullness in today's economy. Trade Unions might be a little different though.
     
  13. 4by4bygod

    4by4bygod 1/2 ton status

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    Not to
    Not to hijack, but I remember that strike.. IIRC the real issue was the fact that the union wanted control of the pension fund, rather than allow UPS to retain control.. of course that didn't make the media.. the media story was how the poor part timers had zero benefits and the teamsters were looking out for them...
     
  14. gjk5

    gjk5 3/4 ton status

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    My simple .02:


    A job should be granted and retained based on merit, not the collective political bargaining strength of a system that rewards mediocrity.
     
  15. bigjbear

    bigjbear 1 ton status Staff Member Moderator

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    I've worked my profession in both union and non-union shops. The pay was better in the NON-union shop. The benefits were more stable in the union shop. The union protected some real pieces of crap. They also donated money to politicians who were trying to move work out of our plant. OTOH they did go to bat for me when I said an airplane was not going to fly until it was fixed properly. (I was an inspector and the airplane was in a flight test program-it's a long story)

    jek- the must strike thing depends on if you live in a "right to work" state of if your industry is governed by the "railway act".
     

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