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Thread: IBEW way to go.

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    Member flagsrme's Avatar
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    Default IBEW way to go.

    It's about time that a union steps foward. Most of us have recieved your letter in the mail this week. Couple years ago I didn't think it could possible that people would except but now is the right time. Locators in Michigan or at least on my team have big smile on our faces today. My smile even got bigger with a email from our district manager. Upper manager are running scared. I love it. As I quote my district manager "Usic is a non union business and does not support the IBEW" I sing soon very soon you well.

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    Senior Member yahoo's Avatar
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    Default Re: IBEW way to go.

    I would hope that a year from now you will have some really good news to share with everyone.
    wise men talk because they have something to say and fools because they have to say something....plato

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    Default Re: IBEW way to go.

    What will you do when USIC just drops the contract when it comes up and you are left with union dues to pay even though you are out of a job?

    These are questions you should ask.
    "Change does not always equal progress."

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    Default Re: IBEW way to go.

    Ummmmm. Srry but USIC can't even get off their ass to replace the people we lost and we're not union. So unless they have experienced locators buried somewhere that they can just throw out there to replace a whole state or district when we strike I think they'll just have to bite the bullet, stop treating employees like shit and sign the contract. Also why would you continue to pay dues if they drop the contract? USIC has made its mission to try and purchase every other locating business so why would you stay union at that point and pay dues if you can't go anywhere else anyway?

    If things were not the way they are now in this company I would say not go union. However it is what USIC needs to happen in order for them to get back on track for taking care of its employees and not its investors alone.

    Because when a different company replacing a cable for the utility company can pay "their" locator to locate the "one" facility (more than us who locate 4 and many locates) and still have potholers, bore operators, office staff, trucks fuel, equipment, websites, etc.(and union) Usic has a problem the money they make needs to go to employees and effort into getting the right amount of people to do the work instead of abusing the labor laws to the edge and working employees until they want to drive off a cliff and end it all.

    This keeps up there is going to be a big "falling down" day here its already kinda happening. everybody calls off says to hell with it.

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    Default Re: IBEW way to go.

    As I understand it, and correct me if I'm wrong, we actually could not strike if part of IBEW because our job is necessary for a variety of emergency situations, some being life and death. I heard that a union rep told some guys here that more or less striking would not happen at all, meaning they don't even have that as leverage.

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    Default Re: IBEW way to go.

    Quote Originally Posted by threephase View Post
    As I understand it, and correct me if I'm wrong, we actually could not strike if part of IBEW because our job is necessary for a variety of emergency situations, some being life and death. I heard that a union rep told some guys here that more or less striking would not happen at all, meaning they don't even have that as leverage.
    I remember when the IBEW workers at Pepco, which is the power company for the nations capital, went on strike.
    The can strike. It is possible there would be a government order to return to work. If disobeyed the government can jail strikers for contempt but then the workers are in jail and this makes for a very effective strike as nobody is at work. Government orders to stop the strike are rare.

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    Mke
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    Default Re: IBEW way to go.

    NLRB seeks contempt order | The federal board accuses longshoremen of an illegal slowdown

    The Slowdown was after an actual work stoppage.... They never refered to it as a "Strike", but either way.

    When it comes down to it, A court will do what it pleases and the union will do what it pleases. They will both meet happily in the middle at an arbitration table somewhere and no one will be punished.

    Mke

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    Member flagsrme's Avatar
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    Default Re: IBEW way to go.

    We had a great turn out last week with the union rep. About 80% of my team is sign up. Crossing my fingers hoping other teams in Michigan feel the same.

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    Default Re: IBEW way to go.

    flagsrme,

    So what did the union promise you. Are they going to support you if you are let go?

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    Default Re: IBEW way to go.

    first thing to remember is that the union doesnt call the strike it is the membership and it is done by vote you have to have the majority vote to strike. Picture this though workers go on strike and the sups have to run our tickets bet that would open a lot of eyes !!!
    if im not mistaken as far as being let go...once a unoin is formed you go from a at will employee to a just cause. meaning if a employer wants to fire you they have to have just cause. you would then have the right for a grivence on that as well ...i think.

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    Default Re: IBEW way to go.

    Quote Originally Posted by mikeinnella View Post
    first thing to remember is that the union doesnt call the strike it is the membership and it is done by vote you have to have the majority vote to strike. Picture this though workers go on strike and the sups have to run our tickets bet that would open a lot of eyes !!!
    if im not mistaken as far as being let go...once a unoin is formed you go from a at will employee to a just cause. meaning if a employer wants to fire you they have to have just cause. you would then have the right for a grivence on that as well ...i think.
    What it does is formalize the termination process as a condition of contract. So they cannot just say your fired without a reason. Even then the reason must be justified per the contract.

    The union contract is a two edged sword, if the company properly follows the terms of the contract when terminating an employee that should be let go it is easy and ironclad, they are fired and they stay fired. The union can only get them back on the job if the company violated the process they agreed to follow in the contract.

    As for will the union "Are they going to support you if you are let go?" (part of this thread posted by UULC)

    Of course not. It is up to union members if they want to establish a strike fund to draw from when their is a strike. There is no "they" with a union, the workers are the union, they are "they". So if they establish a strike fund and pay into it establishing a rainy day nest egg for a strike they yes, "they" will support you, it is your own money.

    A strike fund is often not established because workers think they would rather put aside their won saving for if their should be a strike. This seldom is actually accomplished and workers find themselves with not enough money to go more than a week or two at the most without a paycheck. Companies love unions that have no strike fund.

    In general as a locator in any firm you need at least four weeks net income in savings at any time in addition to savings for unforeseen medical, car breakdown, bail money, etc. expenses. That is becasue you can at anytime be out of work for a week or more due to weather, seen it myself. There may be seasonal layoffs and unemployment does not pay enough to cover your bills. Anybody in this business needs to establish a separate loss of income savings account.

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    Member flagsrme's Avatar
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    Default Re: IBEW way to go.

    The union rep was very honest with us. He made no promises. He didn't even need a sale pitch. Everyone was mostly on broad before the meeting. USIC made the decision easy for us.

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    Default Re: IBEW way to go.

    Quote Originally Posted by nopaint4you View Post
    ...I think they'll just have to bite the bullet, stop treating employees like shit and sign the contract. Also why would you continue to pay dues if they drop the contract? USIC has made its mission to try and purchase every other locating business so why would you stay union at that point and pay dues if you can't go anywhere else anyway?
    The Union requires its members to pay union dues whether the member is employed or not. If you lose your job and quit the union, they will remember it. So the next time you want to join the union, they are gonna want their unpaid union dues. Don't forget, the union is a business. They are not a charity. They don't like to be used and abused.
    "Change does not always equal progress."

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    Default Re: IBEW way to go.

    I've worked in a union district for 10+ years and it sucks. They have no power to do anything for you. The only thing its good for is to help protect the lazy ass locators out there from being fired on the spot. Save your money!!

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    Default Re: IBEW way to go.

    Quote Originally Posted by TheCableVine View Post
    The Union requires its members to pay union dues whether the member is employed or not. If you lose your job and quit the union, they will remember it. So the next time you want to join the union, they are gonna want their unpaid union dues. Don't forget, the union is a business. They are not a charity. They don't like to be used and abused.
    This is so in only very specific situations, often this is not the case.

    If the worker belongs to the carpenters union and is a general member this is so. This is where very often the union sends employees to the employer when they are needed. These employes are often not full time employees of that firm. They wait until the union hall calls them and tells them where, when and to whom to report to work.

    What it sounds like at USIC is a local of IBEW is getting signatures to represent the employees of USIC. These locators are only employees of USIC and if they leave employment with USIC their union membership simply ends. If they are terminated unjustly the union is obligated to represent the employee because they paid dues for this service while they were employed at the firm. Usually the union in a case like that will not collect dues from the employee they are representing in a grievance or lawsuit until they regain employment, and back wages and damages, from the employer.

    So no, it is not likely these USIC locators will be locked into a lifetime of paying dues regardless of who they are employed, or if unemployed, by.

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