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Thread: Ready to unionize

  1. #76
    Senior Member Turk182's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ready to unionize

    Quote Originally Posted by daman1 View Post
    Telephone, gas, and electric utility workers are required by federal law to hold certain accreditation to be legally permitted to do their work. They don't need college degrees. If those laws weren't in place, the utilities would likely hire monkeys if they thought they could make it work. The quality of the utility service would go downhill and the public would be put at risk. That's why those qualification requirements were put in place. Until the feds include locators as a part of the utility industry that are responsible for public safety and should also be required to pass pre-set minimum certification standards, locators won't be seen as equals to other journey-level utility workers. They'll have no backing. Certification means nothing unless you as a business are required by law to only hire certified employees. Locators won't be so easily replaced so they become more valuable to the industry. When was the last time an electric company hired people off the street to replace veterans, threw them in the field, and told them to be productive? It wouldn't really take from the profits of the locate companies. They'll will still make their money because the competition will be under the same labor rules and cannot so easily underbid good wage paying companies.
    You'll never see the change if the government doesn't insist that no one but a certified locator be allowed to locate public utilities. Just like the rest of the utility industry.
    Attaining the political clout to get that done is the thing. I don't see what the big locating firms would have a problem with if the entire playing field had the same federal rules. The contract bids would go up, the utilities would pay more, and the cost would be off-set to the customer. That's capitalism for you.
    Beware what you ask for, I work in a federally regulated industry, and I have seen the penalties involved in that.
    Twitchin Witcher likes this.

  2. #77
    Senior Member superman's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ready to unionize

    Quote Originally Posted by SOLtech View Post
    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.
    What's the scoop on this Illinois Utility Locators Union? How was it created? I would like to know more info.

  3. #78
    Senior Member Nb22x's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ready to unionize

    A question for those of you who work 24/7/365 on-call.....
    How does that exactly work...that's like slave labor...
    You do get to use the truck anytime you want right?!
    Homeowner - "They still bury lines in the ground?
    I thought they didn't do that anymore!"
    Me - "Yes sir they do."
    ____________________
    Homeowner - "...But you're painting all over people's property"
    Me - "Yes I am. It's the law."
    ____________________
    Homeowner - "My gas line is not over there"
    Me - "Yes it is."

  4. #79
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    Default Re: Ready to unionize

    Quote Originally Posted by Nb22x View Post
    A question for those of you who work 24/7/365 on-call.....
    How does that exactly work...that's like slave labor...
    You do get to use the truck anytime you want right?!
    Keeping the truck / car with you varies by company. Many firms let the oncall person keep the vehicle with them when they leave their home, others don't.


    I am a supervisor so I am 24/7/365 so my phone is expected to be on 24/7/365, respond to every call including going into the field if needed and since federal law exempts management form OT pay, but does not prohibit compensation, I get paid 40 hours a week for what is never less than a 60 hour week. I cannot take my vehicle with me 'after hours'. If I am oncall supervisor I may need to go in at anytime to assist on an emergency ticket which has time restraints, depending where I am going it is needed to have the vehicle with me during oncall.

  5. #80
    Mke
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    Default Re: Ready to unionize

    I am 24/7/365 as well. I'm not management, I am however a lead. (title doesn't mean much, there is only one other locator) I do not get to take my work truck home at all. No matter what. I live about an hour away from the shop, so if I have to make a field visit, i'm at leasat gone a minimum of 2.5 hrs. I don't get reimbursed stand by pay or anything. During summer times or during extreme cold (water line breaks) I may have to actually leave my house and go to the field once a month. Most of the time I can handle the phonecalls and requests from home. I typically get more calls from large construction projects we have going on then a "one-call" emergency.

    Are we including scheduled night work along with this as well? If we include working off hours, I tend to do that alot due to the sensitivities of the operations at the facilities we own. (There is usually alot less traffic at 2 in the morning at marine terminals and airports then in the middle of the day)

    The main reason I'm ok with being on-call for that long is .....they pay me for it. I make a decent wage and if I have to put up with a few drawbacks, i'm fine with it. Like I said in a previous post. We were two states away for training and I still fielded phone calls about work.

    mke

  6. #81
    Junior Member Thunderbird's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ready to unionize

    Quote Originally Posted by ProfessionalLocator View Post
    Keeping the truck / car with you varies by company. Many firms let the oncall person keep the vehicle with them when they leave their home, others don't.


    I am a supervisor so I am 24/7/365 so my phone is expected to be on 24/7/365, respond to every call including going into the field if needed and since federal law exempts management form OT pay, but does not prohibit compensation, I get paid 40 hours a week for what is never less than a 60 hour week. I cannot take my vehicle with me 'after hours'. If I am oncall supervisor I may need to go in at anytime to assist on an emergency ticket which has time restraints, depending where I am going it is needed to have the vehicle with me during oncall.
    When I worked for Occ the on call schedule was very simple and effective with locators responsible for one day a week or one weekend in rotation. There is one major difference between their schedule and the schedule later adopted by S&N is the fact that after hours were broken into several different areas rather than just a east or west. There were actually about 5 different people on call for six counties in the same night. This was the case in Maryland.

  7. #82
    Senior Member ProfessionalLocator's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ready to unionize

    Quote Originally Posted by Thunderbird View Post
    When I worked for Occ the on call schedule was very simple and effective with locators responsible for one day a week or one weekend in rotation. There is one major difference between their schedule and the schedule later adopted by S&N is the fact that after hours were broken into several different areas rather than just a east or west. There were actually about 5 different people on call for six counties in the same night. This was the case in Maryland.
    The S&N office using this covers three counties, Fairfax, Loudoun and Arlington. Arlington is small at 25 square miles while Fairfax is a bit larger at 407 square miles. Loudoun County is mostly covered by another office but this office has a few square miles of it. The East person covers Arlington and part of Fairfax and the Fairfax person covers the remainder of Fairfax and a few square files of Loudoun County. The travel times and ticket lodes dictate breaking the area into east and west. I have covered and marked oncall east and west at the same time, doable but breaking it up makes for arrival times within the response time mandated by the state.

    When this system for oncall started the objection was 'we won't make as much money'. Had to explain they worked just as many hours just spread over five paychecks.

    Now the objection is that when an oncall slot is not covered, like due to sick call out, is that the person scheduled for tomorrow has to pick up today in addition, 'you expect me to work oncall TWO days this week!".

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    Junior Member Thunderbird's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ready to unionize

    Quote Originally Posted by ProfessionalLocator View Post
    The S&N office using this covers three counties, Fairfax, Loudoun and Arlington. Arlington is small at 25 square miles while Fairfax is a bit larger at 407 square miles. Loudoun County is mostly covered by another office but this office has a few square miles of it. The East person covers Arlington and part of Fairfax and the Fairfax person covers the remainder of Fairfax and a few square files of Loudoun County. The travel times and ticket lodes dictate breaking the area into east and west. I have covered and marked oncall east and west at the same time, doable but breaking it up makes for arrival times within the response time mandated by the state.

    When this system for oncall started the objection was 'we won't make as much money'. Had to explain they worked just as many hours just spread over five paychecks.

    Now the objection is that when an oncall slot is not covered, like due to sick call out, is that the person scheduled for tomorrow has to pick up today in addition, 'you expect me to work oncall TWO days this week!".
    .

    This schedule was certainly an improvement over the full week to be covered. Most of the after hours locates on the east side required little to no marking. Gas leaks dominated the call outs (at least from my experences). The west side was a different story of coarse.

  9. #84
    Senior Member superman's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ready to unionize

    Quote Originally Posted by ProfessionalLocator View Post
    I notice that anti-union employees tend to drive rusty old pick up trucks with '"Ignorant and proud of it" bumper stickers and union employes drive new pickup trucks with 'Live Better, Work Union' bumper stickers.

  10. #85
    Mke
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    Default Re: Ready to unionize

    So.... about PL's statement...

    "I notice that anti-union employees tend to drive rusty old pick up trucks with '"Ignorant and proud of it" bumper stickers and union employes drive new pickup trucks with 'Live Better, Work Union' bumper stickers."

    I've only met two millionares in my life. One here in Washington and one in the San Francisco bay area. The one in WA got his by selling all the timber on his land..... He drove a beat up old Dodge truck. (he did have a new dodge in the garage though)

    The guy in the bay area drove a beat up old Volvo (it wasn't that beat up, but it was about 15years old)

    Take this for what you want, but I had a Psychology professor who worked on a study that was trying to track the habits of rich people. He stated that the study revealed that 92% of nice cars on the road were driven by upper middle class people who were trying to appear rich. He stated that the Upper class people either had drivers and didn't own vehicles or had a reliable vehicle (i.e. beat up truck) that they were using for all its worth.

    This study however left out all the ballers who by the million dollar cars to show off. That segment of society may throw the stats off =)

    mke

  11. #86
    Member KaineF's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ready to unionize

    I think the 1.2 billion dollar yachts should thro those stats off a little.

  12. #87
    Senior Member superman's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ready to unionize

    We had a cable vine member post a blog the other day about USIC gaining support to unionize in the Midwest. Anybody know or heard anything about that? Know what's going on?

  13. #88
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    Default Re: Ready to unionize

    I was curious about that as well. Saw the blog the other day. I've looked around and haven't seen or heard anything.

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