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Thread: IBEW way to go.

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

    Quote Originally Posted by locator00566 View Post
    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!!
    Well, you wrote "The only thing its good for is to help protect the lazy ass locators out there from being fired on the spot." so obviously they have the power to help you. If they are not properly exercising that power form a slate of candidates, get yourselves voted in and run things right.

    If your servant is lazy and does not work yet you continue to employe him who is to blame? You or the lazy servant?

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    Default Re: IBEW way to go.

    Quote Originally Posted by ProfessionalLocator View Post
    Well, you wrote "The only thing its good for is to help protect the lazy ass locators out there from being fired on the spot." so obviously they have the power to help you. If they are not properly exercising that power form a slate of candidates, get yourselves voted in and run things right.

    If your servant is lazy and does not work yet you continue to employe him who is to blame? You or the lazy servant?
    The union is to blame. Sorry to bring forth the truth to all you union lovers

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    Default Re: IBEW way to go.

    Quote Originally Posted by locator00566 View Post
    The union is to blame. Sorry to bring forth the truth to all you union lovers
    I nether love nor hate unions, I am indifferent and can work either way, even as a supervisor.

    I just know the difference between fact and belief.

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    Default Re: IBEW way to go.

    Well said Professionallocator. It's nice to be able to look at both sides of the table. And figure out what is fact and belief.

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    Default Re: IBEW way to go.

    Fact is not all union are the same and not all states treat the union the same. And not all companies need to be union. Five years ago I didn't feel we needed a union. But when they take so many benefits away from us its hard to make any money to live on, something has to be done. For example, every year we all know to save money for layoffs during the winter time months. USIC use to pay for our health insurance when we are layoff. Then I believe it was last October they came out and said they are no longer paying for our insurance when your layoff. When your a family of four and the wife can't work because she had to take care of the kids. Your unemployment check is only $600 every two weeks and insurance cost you $250 every weeks. There not much left over gas, rent ect. This is just one little example. I'm not sure if the union is going to help or not. Sometimes if you don't try something different the only thing your going to get is the same results.

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    Administrator TheCableVine's Avatar
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    Default Re: IBEW way to go.

    This is from the IBEW48 website: http://www.ibew48.com/print_sub_arti...phomeID=229189

    If you leave the employer you are working for either by you quitting or reduction of force contact Local 48’s dues
    office for options.

    Your membership continues regardless of whether you are working or not (this includes Material Handler, BA
    members, etc.).
    You really have to search hard for the answers to the questions. It took me a while just to find out the following information. Most of this comes from several websites but the information is generally the same.

    If you stop working for the company and don't want to pay dues any longer you must APPLY to stop paying dues. It is called an honorary withdrawal. To get an honorary withdrawal you need to be in good standing. In "good standing" means your dues are up to date.

    Furthermore, if you decide to stop paying dues without approval you will be dropped as a member in good standing. If you wish to rejoin the union after having been dropped for lack of payment, they require that you bring your payments up to date before you can be considered a member in good standing. Then you must wait for (I think) 45 days before you can work as a member of the union again. Not 100% sure about the 45 days part.
    Last edited by TheCableVine; July 15th, 2012 at 04:08 PM.
    "Change does not always equal progress."

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    Senior Member Turk182's Avatar
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    Default Re: IBEW way to go.

    Quote Originally Posted by TheCableVine View Post
    This is from the IBEW48 website: http://www.ibew48.com/print_sub_arti...phomeID=229189



    You really have to search hard for the answers to the questions. It took me a while just to find out the following information. Most of this comes from several websites but the information is generally the same.

    If you stop working for the company and don't want to pay dues any longer you must APPLY to stop paying dues. It is called an honorary withdrawal. To get an honorary withdrawal you need to be in good standing. In "good standing" means your dues are up to date.

    Furthermore, if you decide to stop paying dues without approval you will be dropped as a member in good standing. If you wish to rejoin the union after having been dropped for lack of payment, they require that you bring your payments up to date before you can be considered a member in good standing. Then you must wait for (I think) 45 days before you can work as a member of the union again. Not 100% sure about the 45 days part.
    Every local has their own parameters for membership, some even have a trade union side and a labor union side, the labor union side is for members that do not qualify for all union benefits, generally terminating employment with the contracted company will end ones membership in that union.

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    Default Re: IBEW way to go.

    Just a thought here but it seems if the ibew would get tha other locate firms in your area to sign up also it would increase your options and make it more difficult for companies to dump the contract if you vote in the union.

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    Default Re: IBEW way to go.

    Quote Originally Posted by orangeboots View Post
    Just a thought here but it seems if the ibew would get tha other locate firms in your area to sign up also it would increase your options and make it more difficult for companies to dump the contract if you vote in the union.
    Our clients do not care if we are union or not, so long as we get the work done right.

    BG&E (Baltimore Gas and Electric) is non-union and has worked hard to keep employee satisfaction, pay and benefits up enough to keep their employes from forming or joining a union. A lot of their work is subcontracted out to companies that are union, they do not care.

    That the client company will dump you just becasue you are a union worker is untrue, a myth propagated by companies that fear their employees will organize. What's more for any manger to tell any employee they will lose their job, either directly fired or by loss of contract, is illegal in the United Sates. The company can be fined and in the event there are enough signatures for an organizing vote the Feds can simply declare the election tainted by the employer and declare the company must recognize the union. I"n short they declare the election to organize as having been won by the union. In today's world where everybody has a video camera in their phone this is a very foolish thing for any employer to say or post to the internet.

    As for other companies where the employees are doing the same work, yes the union wants to solicit them as well. But somebody has to be first in the area to show it can be done. The union will use a local win as a beachhead to reach out to other firms. Which will force those firm to pay better, give better benefits and treat their employees fairly, read the paragraph above about BG&E's extra efforts to remain nonunion.

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    Default Re: IBEW way to go.

    Pro I was refering to the locate company dumping the contract not the client company. I was told by a high up face to face at gpls about 10 years ago that the day after we voted in the union they would terminate the contract.

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    Default Re: IBEW way to go.

    Quote Originally Posted by orangeboots View Post
    Pro I was refering to the locate company dumping the contract not the client company. I was told by a high up face to face at gpls about 10 years ago that the day after we voted in the union they would terminate the contract.
    You were lied too because if they did that the NLRB would be all over them. It would cost them a small fortune to pay the fines plus damages owed to all the workers who lost their jobs.

    Also that statement made to you, bet there were no witnesses or if there were they were all management. Just making that statement was highly illegal even if they meant it.

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    Default Re: IBEW way to go.

    Bad company or poor management breed unions. If you treat your employees well and give them descent benefits they usually will not want a union.

    I am surprised the usual email form letter has not gone out about how "an union will not save your job". funny thing is back in 2003 when they lost the AT&T contact in KS I think they let people go. I wasn't around yet but I have heard that in Wisconsin when they lost the AT&T contract about 30% where let go by SM&P. i know they busted up an union in ST. Louis years and years ago. I think they busted by now renewing a contract but not sure, or just threatened to do so.

    I am not sure about other areas but in IL it has just seems to been growing. Here is a timeline best i can remember.

    2006 redid the bonus system that now the whole group had to meet. CLS gets at&T contract. increased new hire starting pay and added incentives

    2007 I think was the triple wammy, increased dental vision and health

    2008 merger, Now some less tenured tech s from CLS making $5 more than sm&p tech. Sept increase some tech less than one year to a starting pay of $13.95 which was cls starting wage. A $2 raise for some. now they make more than 2-3 yr guys.

    2009 pay and bonus freezes. 401K matching froze. The daily calls no more than 8 hour and no more than 40 hrs. Asked to work a Saturday to help catch up and then told to stay home on Thursday because you have 40 hrs already. tenured tech who make less than cls tech, "OH WEll"

    2010 The DM decided any one with at fault accidents in 2009 get no raise. Less than impressive return of raises. the extortion of medical benefits for spouse if they have insurance from their job i think was this year.

    2011 you fill in the blanks. Clearing ticket out without going and asking for production over no damages.

    2012 All the bs in the room.

    Only positive I guess is one has a job. I am sure most do not think the grass is much greener on the other side, but union talk is mostly to stop the bleeding. It seems mainly out of frustration. When the economy was good one would just find another job. As one can see from post on here was the unions start is looks like it is going to be like a grass fire and spread quickly. Me personally I am not a union fan. I had family in it back when there was a much better work ethic in the 40-60's. Since my teens growing up in union towns I see now unions protect the lazy ones. i have also seen the unions get greedy and price themselves out of a job. The ones that will use and abuse the rules. It will protect some from the management not following the proper procedures in firing someone. If I was still with usic I would listen and probably sign the union card, if anything to send a message and tell mike and the boys "enough is enough".

  13. #28
    Administrator TheCableVine's Avatar
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    Default Re: IBEW way to go.

    I've said a few times in the past that if a locate company goes union, in this case USIC, then you can probably count on losing the contract and being out of work. I don't say that because I believe USIC will get vindictive and drop the contract but I say it from a purely economic point of view. Unions will only increase the overhead in a business where it is common to lowball a bid to get the contract. USIC will easily be underbid and the contract will be gone. It is as simple as that.

    ProfessionalLocator obviously knows a whole lot more about this than I do. I don't dispute anything he says but I also believe that in the end the mathematics will win.
    "Change does not always equal progress."

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    Default Re: IBEW way to go.

    Quote Originally Posted by TheCableVine View Post
    I've said a few times in the past that if a locate company goes union, in this case USIC, then you can probably count on losing the contract and being out of work. I don't say that because I believe USIC will get vindictive and drop the contract but I say it from a purely economic point of view. Unions will only increase the overhead in a business where it is common to lowball a bid to get the contract. USIC will easily be underbid and the contract will be gone. It is as simple as that.

    ProfessionalLocator obviously knows a whole lot more about this than I do. I don't dispute anything he says but I also believe that in the end the mathematics will win.
    I passed a truck today on the highway, W.A. Chester Company. I first worked on a job with these guys almost 40 years ago, 1973, when they were my employers subcontractor, I was with the guys checking for contract compliance. They were IBEW then and they are now and they are nationwide.

    Mathematics will win out but there is more to the equation of a union will raise overhead and eventually the company will not be able to bid competitively.

    With a union the company cannot arbitrarily cut wages and benefits whenever the managers screw up with money losing actions. The union contract requires better mangers making better decisions. It puts the company in the position of getting rid of the dead weight management or go under.

    I think many here over the years have seen one bad idea after another that costs millions of dollars. Then they see their wages and benefits get cut along with demands for higher production and lower damages. While the ones who ordered the boondoggles keep their jobs, their wages, their benefits, their bonuses. The locators and locators here have funded every bad idea that wastes money, it came out of their pockets and sweat instead of those who made the mess.

    The nepotism and cronyism that keeps bad managers in place can no longer be tolerated and the companies that to not adapt to their workforce going union do tend to collapse. This is when mathematics wins out.

  15. #30
    Mke
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    Default Re: IBEW way to go.

    Being adamant about your conclusions leaves you too strict on the issue. I feel that your setting up a dichotomy that its one thing or another. It doesn't leave anything to the natural ambiguity that all situations truely are.

    What I'm poorly eluding to, is that you can compare contract locating companies to any other industry or trade out there, but it doesn't fairly represent the entire situation.

    Your reference to W.A. Chester Company..... i'm assuming they are a company that employs several trades? Skilled trades? Certified skilled trades? They were IBEW then and are now.... that is great. The IBEW has been representing skilled electrical workers for the past 100yrs or so. They are ran by, staffed by and have the majority of their mebers being skilled electrical workers. If you are an electrician, you would be stupid not to join the IBEW. The benefits out way the cons in this situation.

    Us as Utility locators fall into a total seperate category that doesn't squarely fit into the round hole you are laying out. First and formost, we are unskilled. There is Unions who specifically cater to unskilled labor, but we don't neccessarily fit into that category either.

    In other words, we are trained enough to not be accepted into unskilled labor unions, and we are not trained enough for skilled labor unions. With this "Red-headed step child" status we will never be able to get the true focus of any labor union, other then for due collection.

    The brass tacks of the situation is that no matter how you look at the situation, we as locators are getting sodomized by the whole situation. Adding another orginization to the mess only clouds the issue. Again, in other words..... you are still getting screwed, you just can't tell by how many different people. To the people getting screwed, it still sucks. The only bonus to involving a union is the brief enlightenment one gets when they have faith that superman is going to come in and save us all.


    I truely don't care either way if locators become unionized or not. It will not affect me either way. What I hold fast to, is not wanting unsuspecting locators put their full faith into an orginization that is not willing to do the same.

    I totally respect your oppinion, and understand the sentiment. But quoting legal scripture doesn't satisfy all the variables. Law favors those with money. You can state labor law and even site precedents, but it is still up to interpretation.

    Did the Contract locating company vindictively fire everyone in their firm for unionizing? Or did they just decide not to persue the contract? There is legal language in every contract that lets both parties have an opt out. Typically, as long as both parties are ok with it, it will be desolved.

    This doesn't even take into account the "renegotiating" of any existing contracts for union purposes. They Union's promise of better working conditions (more money, more benies) is solely based on concissions that the Utility owner will conceed to. Which they would not renegotiate the existing contract, they would send it out to all the local companies in a formal RFP process. While this company and their union represented employees hike up the cost for the contract, the other 3 companies will be at the same price the contract would be at currently. Guess who's going to get the contract?

    What needs to be done is to orginize a national orginization for the betterment of the Locator. Not one that solely protects the locator, but one that actually standardizes the industry. Only when value is put on our service can we have the desired pay you are looking for. You can't demand it at the end of the preverbial gun. "You need to pay me well or i'm taking my ball and leaving" attitude will only confuse the foundation needed to improve the industry.


    Sorry I'm long winded. To be honest with you, I have totally forgot why I originally started to write this post by the time I finished it.... Go figure

    Mke

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