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Thread: Group Of Locators Tired Of Getting Screwed!!

  1. #106
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    Default Re: Group Of Locators Tired Of Getting Screwed!!

    Reliant was sold by vectren ,and duke energy due to the fact that we kept the union in place.They did not like being fair with the employees,so they thought they would sell out and screw us all over.

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    Default Re: Group Of Locators Tired Of Getting Screwed!!

    Vectren had decided to sell the company. We had started reliant from scratch,and had built it up ,and made it very profitable.They sold the company and all equipment,and contracts to none other than SM@P!!! Happened in august 2006.

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    Default Re: Group Of Locators Tired Of Getting Screwed!!

    Quote Originally Posted by AULupstate View Post
    I would like to know why there are those out in this industry who 'constantly' say they can't move on to another company to better their own pay rate and working conditions??

    Did something happen that I'm not aware of where WE can't freely move around from state to state without special 'travel' papers from our commrades in Washington??

    There are PLENTY of GOOD paying jobs out there for Utility Locators. The problem is YOU have to stop being afraid and leave your comfort zone to get them.

    Oh but I have a house and payments. So What!! If your not making enough to pay the bills don't YOU think cutting the things out of YOUR lifestyle that EATS your paycheck MIGHT BE A GOOD IDEA???? (of course that is if you REFUSE to get a better job YOURSELF).

    Maybe it's just me but I have moved around my whole life and if I see a job that that will increase my take home pay by 25% or more (no matter where it is) I WILL be at that interview and I WILL find a place to live if I get that job. If one is really lucky, your pay check will increase and the cost of living will DECREASE (depending on where the job is).

    Is this Industry broken?? Yes it is (at least in some places)
    Is it as broken as the Trucking Industry or Meat Packing Industry was, with fatalities and dismemberment happening hourly/daily?? NO, NOT AT ALL.
    Do your research folks and you might be suprised to learn that even though Truckers and Packers have a 'Union' THEY DON'T MAKE JACK for pay.
    Truckers - If the wheels aren't moving they aren't making money (hence the double set of books, the REAL ONE and the one that gets shown to DOT).
    Meat Packers - 15 to 20 an hour folks (pretty much the same pay rate as Locators but without all the cool extras) and do you guys thow in your company vehicle (no matter how shitty it is), gas card and benefits (that you do have) into your salary math or do you leave that out because THE COMPANY HAS TO GIVE YOU THAT STUFF!!!

    Oh and John (this is the first time I have ACTUALLY brought your name up) I don't really feel like getting into a pissing match with you or your other personas that are posting here (yes I know you have more than one). But don't give youself too much credit as far as being easily found out here.
    It ALWAYS starts the same way. A 'new' member post about some kind of injustice that has befallen them. They ask a few questions about starting a 'group' to stand up and change this perseptual said injustice. It's a dead give away EVERY TIME because it's the same shit you have been saying since you found this site. All it is is a SAD ploy on your part to try to manipulate something that YOU can be in control of so YOU can be just as corupt and to gain a position that YOU can be the boss and line YOUR pockets on the backs of others (that's a FACT and I have the PROOF that is YOUR GOAL). Whatever 'injustice' has happened to you in this industry GET OVER IT and move on or ACTUALLY DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT.
    I agree that if you're not happy you should Do something about it. ORGANIZE!

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    Default Re: Group Of Locators Tired Of Getting Screwed!!

    You can start your own union, it just takes a majority of the group to stand up and take the necessary actions to make it happen. It's just easier to do it with a union that is already established that can provide folks to help you.

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    Default Re: Group Of Locators Tired Of Getting Screwed!!

    There are some folks that seem to like unions. I am not one of them. What ever happened to individual achievement by way of merit? Teamwork will get you a lot further than any union ever will.
    Sure, a Union on the surface seems like Superman. Incredible strength flying in and saving the day, while protecting the weak and downtrodden. But wait... there's more.

    Sorry Bob, your check is a little lighter, Uninion dues. (Slap)
    Sorry Bob, we heard you were jioning the union so here is some excuse we made up to fire you. (Slap)
    Sorry Bob, you aren't going to get paid for a month because the Union is busy fighting management to make your life better (slap)

    Superman turned out to be a pimp in a cape. No thanks.
    I seek not to know the answers, but to understand the questions.

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    Mke
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    Default Re: Group Of Locators Tired Of Getting Screwed!!

    Grasshopper... but the Union promised things would get better... not so much in writing, but they still told us that they would renegotiate our contracts to get us benifits, better pay, and don't forget it is against the law for our company to fire us for trying to organize.

    They leave out the fact that unless your part of the union before you get fired, they will not stand up for you if you get fired.

    thats right brothers, Solidarity.....unless you are not members of our club.

    mke

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    Default Re: Group Of Locators Tired Of Getting Screwed!!

    Quote Originally Posted by locator1 View Post
    Reliant was sold by vectren ,and duke energy due to the fact that we kept the union in place.They did not like being fair with the employees,so they thought they would sell out and screw us all over.
    Locator1 Ė It is obvious that the facts surrounding Reliantís demise were not fully communicated to you, so I feel compelled to set the record straight. I am no longer in the locating industry, so what I am about to say is completely objective and without bias. I spent 11 years in locating, both as a locator and in management, so I have the luxury of seeing things from both sides.

    Reliant Services was originally known as Midwest Marking. In 1999-2000, Midwest was purchased in a joint venture between Vectran and Cinergy. Along the way, and after the name change, Reliant joined forces with Miller Pipeline. Millerís upper management team took control of operational oversight for Reliant.

    Reliant went through a slew of good and bad managers throughout their entire coverage area. With each bad manager, the locators became more and more jaded. In 2004, the locator population decided to organize their efforts, me included. In fact, I sat on the panel that defined the Level Classifications for the locator qualifications.

    Throughout the industry, not just with Reliant, the utility owners were driving down the prices they were willing to pay contract locating companies. This was amplified by the numerous locate companies that were willing to bid low in hopes that volumes would return profit.

    *** Reliant was not sold because they were a union shop. In fact, both Vectran and Cinergy (now Duke Energy) have employees that are represented by any of several union locals. ***

    The upper management from Miller never really liked the locating industry. They felt that the profit margins were too tight, and when you throw the costs of a union shop in the mix, it became less profitable every day. Locating is a hard industry in which to make money. Between the low-ball contract bids, the indemnity clauses invoked by the utility owners, and the high operating costs it becomes exceptionally hard.

    With this knowledge, in 2006 upper management decided they had had enough. The Indiana operations were sold to SM&P, and Reliant decided to exit the business in all other areas. This sent over 500 people, from PA, OH, IN, and KY, scrambling for work. It was not JUST that they were unionized.

    Over the short period of time that Reliant was union, I didnít see any benefit. As a locator, it pissed me off that someone that wasnít pulling their weight was making the same $$$ as me just because of time in. As a manager, I had a hard time removing anyone that was not doing their job or was blatantly ďF-ingĒ off. I sat through more B*S* arbitrations than I could stand. Only a couple were justified, and with those I had no problem going to bat for the locators.

    As I said, Iím no longer in the industry. I will always have a soft spot in my heart for it though. I just encourage you to think long and hard about unionizing before you actually sign any papers. Like you, I wish these locating companies would understand that their problems begin with their management team. I just don't think that unionizing is the way to get your point across.

    Good luck!

  8. #113
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    Default Re: Group Of Locators Tired Of Getting Screwed!!

    Thank you for the information on Reliant.I was glad we had the union.I did my job,and i was also given a raise each year thanks to the union.True the union did protect the idiots that did not want to work ,and I do not like that aspect of the union either.I really think that if the unions wanted to become strong again they could change some things on how they operate,and who they decide to defend.I do believe in earning a honest living,but on the same hand I do not like being taken advantage of by all these companies who just use US as a slave ,then toss us aside as a used up tool.Oh we can get a new guy to locate for 10.00-11.00 and hr.

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    Default Re: Group Of Locators Tired Of Getting Screwed!!

    A union will never be able to say "I'll defend you, but not that other guy." As long as each of you are paying your dues, then they are obligated to defend everyone. As at Reliant, the union was required to grieve every termination regarless of cause. So...when I have a guy that tests positive for meth, I have to deal with a grievence. Doesn't make sense, does it?

    I just encourage you to think these things out. Reliant wasn't profitable. A good portion of that was due to the cost of the union shop. (Example: $$$ spent on frivelous arbitrations. $$$ spent because it rained and I had to send someone home at 4.5 hours but pay them for the rest of the day.) It really doesn't have to be an "Us versus Them" thing. Hopefully, you can figure out another way to help make the environment better for everyone.

    ....Oh yeah....did I say I didn't care for the union? At least not in the locating industry!

  10. #115
    Mke
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    Default Re: Group Of Locators Tired Of Getting Screwed!!

    whoa....whoa....whoa.....

    Back up just a minute MoJo.....

    You sent guys home when it rained? ..... Sign me up....

    hehe... Pacific Northwest Joke... some may not get it.

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    Default Re: Group Of Locators Tired Of Getting Screwed!!

    Mke -

    We once had a manager that passed out two green garbage bags to each locator. The idea was that the transmitter would go in one bag and the receiver would be in the other. THIS would surely cut down on the expense of repairing a water-logged peice of equipment. Needless to say, it didn't last long. After that, we went back to sending guys home if it was a washout. Don't get me wrong, we worked through the more moderate rains and used lots of flags where we could. But, with all the concrete, most of the marks quickly washed away.

  12. #117
    Mke
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    Default Re: Group Of Locators Tired Of Getting Screwed!!

    Mojo,

    I feel you, We use a "fish bag" for our reciever, and a 1 gallon Zip-lock for our transmitter. For the concrete we use Wax marking sticks. The biggest pain is using the split box in the rain. There is no way to cover it successfully and it shows. there has been times when I turn it over when i'm done and watch the water drain from the "water resistant" case.

    ahhh fun times.

  13. #118
    Junior Member ijaylocate's Avatar
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    Default Re: Group Of Locators Tired Of Getting Screwed!!

    well it seems to me that union maybe the anwser, however there would be no need to become union if the locating companies treated there workers with some respect and understood that we are out there doing a difficult job and stop making our jobs more difficult such as watching there every move and managing them by the minute and pay them what they are worth and stop finding way to screw them out of a nickle and a dime come raise time.

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    Default Re: Group Of Locators Tired Of Getting Screwed!!

    dddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddd dddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddd
    Last edited by locator1; February 13th, 2010 at 10:11 AM. Reason: ddddddddddddddddddddddddd

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    Default Re: Group Of Locators Tired Of Getting Screwed!!

    Best of luck locator1 and God bless! It takes very special people to join the military. Especially in a time of war.

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