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Thread: Ready to unionize

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    Default Ready to unionize

    I have frickin had it. Maybe I should just move on to something else. This short staffed, 12 to 17 hr days, all tickets past due, 300 miles a day, covering 2500 square miles, USIC bullcrap is for the birds. There is absolutely no excuse for this shit. In everyone of the 3 counties I cover there has been at least 2 contractors that have complained to the state utilities board and the attorney general. Just because we are short staffed. The whole district that I am part of is just one big cluster****. We have been extremely short staffed all summer. I worked 12.25 hours the other day. Then when I got home I got called away to an emergency 120 miles away, 3 counties away from me. In the mean time, my wife is working nights so my 14 year old daughter has to stay home and take care of my 4 year old son. She has to bathe him, cook him supper, get him to bed, then work on her homework for the night. Then I wonder why she is failing school. I have never seen it this bad and it gets worse everyday. I was told today that we lost another guy. He parked his car and walked away. He left the keys in it and even left the hatch open. My sup is telling me that the higher ups wont let him hire any more people. WTF!?

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    Senior Member USIC1's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ready to unionize

    HA!!! I have worked 12's all week too...

    And they were asking today for volunteers to work in another area Saturday...

    I'm divorced never had kids and been a locator for almost 20 yrs...

    Imagine how we re stuffing the fat cats at the top wallets as we sacrifice the quality of life???

    I see parents with their kids at ball games and eating out and doing recreational activity as I m slogging around with a paint stick...

    Maybe we re earning our wings for the next world...
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    Default Re: Ready to unionize

    What was the reason for that locator quiting today?

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    Default Re: Ready to unionize

    Quote Originally Posted by SteveDodds View Post
    I have frickin had it. Maybe I should just move on to something else. This short staffed, 12 to 17 hr days, all tickets past due, 300 miles a day, covering 2500 square miles, USIC bullcrap is for the birds. There is absolutely no excuse for this shit. In everyone of the 3 counties I cover there has been at least 2 contractors that have complained to the state utilities board and the attorney general. Just because we are short staffed. The whole district that I am part of is just one big cluster****. We have been extremely short staffed all summer. I worked 12.25 hours the other day. Then when I got home I got called away to an emergency 120 miles away, 3 counties away from me. In the mean time, my wife is working nights so my 14 year old daughter has to stay home and take care of my 4 year old son. She has to bathe him, cook him supper, get him to bed, then work on her homework for the night. Then I wonder why she is failing school. I have never seen it this bad and it gets worse everyday. I was told today that we lost another guy. He parked his car and walked away. He left the keys in it and even left the hatch open. My sup is telling me that the higher ups wont let him hire any more people. WTF!?
    According to all the anti-union wise guy's, a union is not the answer. They think becoming a certified/licensed locator or something is the answer for all of our problems. Although, I don't think a union could help much with the problems your having.

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    Default Re: Ready to unionize

    well... we will find out if unions really work soon. I have heard the illinois crew for Synergy one has enough signatures to do a card check for a new union. from what i heard a tech RICE has formally created the Illinois Utility Locators Union. Should be an interesting venture.

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    Default Re: Ready to unionize

    The answer to long hours during summer is a worse problem.

    Hire enough techs so that in Summer we only work 8 hours a day five days a week. (No more OT money to take to the bank). Then when the Winter lull comes lay off all the now extra people. Live on unemployment until Spring with no summertime OT money in the bank, merry Christmas.

    Does anyone hear farm workers complain they have to plant crops in Spring, tend them all Summer and the harvest them in Fall? We are largely seasonal workers, just the nature of our business.

    There are fine nuances like hiring noobies by February so that they are ready when Spring comes but basically we are seasonal workers. It cannot be changed and if that is a real problem then those people need a different job than being a locator.

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    Default Re: Ready to unionize

    I describe myself as neither pro nor anti union. You got a good employer why bother with the hassle of a union, a bad employer makes a union both worth the hassle and needed.

    My last union job was in the utility industry and I worked long hours usually in the summer sometimes staying at work days at a time, sleeping in a bunk room or a makeshift bed on the floor.

    Utilities are by their nature 24/7/365 and cannot be allowed to not be in operation.

    Regards working long hours the union changes were; OT beyond 8 hr shift regardless if we worked 40 hrs that week, double time pay for working a holiday, double time once we worked beyond 12 or 14 hours ( I had on occasion worked 24 hours straight) a mandatory rest time of 8 hours once worked beyond 14 or 16 hours straight (no guarantee that when we started the next shift late that we would get 8 hours)

    So union or not we would still work long hours. Anybody cannot do the long hours of work or just dislikes it enough needs to quit and find work in another industry.


    What a union did provide was; pay and benefits could not be changed until the contract was renegotiated, when the company did violate the contract they had to submit to binding arbitration for a filed grievance, protection from unjust firings or suspensions. cost of living raises, in grade raises of new grade raises, guarantee that your job was waiting for you after a seasonal layoff (they could not lay you off for low workload and then hire noobies as replacements in the Spring), when layoffs or grade promotions came up they could not just be given o some boss's favorites.
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    Default Re: Ready to unionize

    Quote Originally Posted by ProfessionalLocator View Post
    I describe myself as neither pro nor anti union. You got a good employer why bother with the hassle of a union, a bad employer makes a union both worth the hassle and needed.

    My last union job was in the utility industry and I worked long hours usually in the summer sometimes staying at work days at a time, sleeping in a bunk room or a makeshift bed on the floor.

    Utilities are by their nature 24/7/365 and cannot be allowed to not be in operation.

    Regards working long hours the union changes were; OT beyond 8 hr shift regardless if we worked 40 hrs that week, double time pay for working a holiday, double time once we worked beyond 12 or 14 hours ( I had on occasion worked 24 hours straight) a mandatory rest time of 8 hours once worked beyond 14 or 16 hours straight (no guarantee that when we started the next shift late that we would get 8 hours)

    So union or not we would still work long hours. Anybody cannot do the long hours of work or just dislikes it enough needs to quit and find work in another industry.


    What a union did provide was; pay and benefits could not be changed until the contract was renegotiated, when the company did violate the contract they had to submit to binding arbitration for a filed grievance, protection from unjust firings or suspensions. cost of living raises, in grade raises of new grade raises, guarantee that your job was waiting for you after a seasonal layoff (they could not lay you off for low workload and then hire noobies as replacements in the Spring), when layoffs or grade promotions came up they could not just be given o some boss's favorites.
    Thank you pro locator for mentioning some of the pro's to having a union. In addition to getting double time on holiday's, we also got double time for any work on Sundays also. The company would not allow work on Sunday's, but at least if you got a call-out during the big game that you wanted to watch, you would be getting compinsated for it. We were in the same union as Duke Energy, (IBEW 1393). Go ask any of those guy's if they dont like their union. Trust me, you wont find any.

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    Default Re: Ready to unionize

    What is the platform for the new union pay,insurance, retirement etc?

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    Mke
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    Default Re: Ready to unionize

    Quote Originally Posted by orangeboots View Post
    What is the platform for the new union pay,insurance, retirement etc?
    Unfortunately all of this is going to be based on what "We" as a union can negotiate per the contract. Exact numbers are going to difficult to supply untill the time the contract is executed.

    What I am willing to state is that "We" are proponents for family wage jobs to keep family wage workers, working. We are willing to negotiate for the betterment of the locator on all fronts. Better hourly wage, better Retirement, better working conditions.

    Down with the capitalistic swine quenching their thirst on the sweat and blood of others!

    Lets all vote for some hope and change


    mke

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    Default Re: Ready to unionize

    When and if you decide to go union, you will have a negotiating committee. Usually they request responses from the membership on what you want in a contract. Then they go thru and select the most important issues that were mention. This is the selection process. Then they start negotiations with the company. Once the union and the company reach a agreement, it is brought back to the membership to be voted on. You will decide if it is a good contract or not. If you vote no, it will go back in negotiations. If you vote yes, then it will become your contract. The union I was in went thru negotiations 3 times before we voted yes on one contract. A contract is decide by the membership.
    superman likes this.

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    Default Re: Ready to unionize

    Quote Originally Posted by retired View Post
    When and if you decide to go union, you will have a negotiating committee. Usually they request responses from the membership on what you want in a contract. Then they go thru and select the most important issues that were mention. This is the selection process. Then they start negotiations with the company. Once the union and the company reach a agreement, it is brought back to the membership to be voted on. You will decide if it is a good contract or not. If you vote no, it will go back in negotiations. If you vote yes, then it will become your contract. The union I was in went thru negotiations 3 times before we voted yes on one contract. A contract is decide by the membership.
    How would we go about starting a National Locators of Pride Union? NLPU. That just sounds right.

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    Default Re: Ready to unionize

    What happens if the company you work for loses the contract?

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    Senior Member superman's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ready to unionize

    Quote Originally Posted by orangeboots View Post
    What happens if the company you work for loses the contract?
    Same thing you would do now. Go to the company that picked up the new contract. With a National Locators Union, all companies and locators would be involved. Just like Retired talked about, it could be like the National Players Union. All the sports players are in the same union, but there are different owners/teams to play (work) for.

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    Default Re: Ready to unionize

    Who has the 5 or 10 million to start a national union. The ibew and afl-cio don't seem interested in representing locators.

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