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Thread: A USIC strike. Just thinking outloud....

  1. #31
    Premium Member daman1's Avatar
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    Default Re: A USIC strike. Just thinking outloud....

    So it's Obama's fault? I'm confused.

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    Default Re: A USIC strike. Just thinking outloud....

    sounds like management to me, but im no wizard.

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    Senior Member locator00566's Avatar
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    Default Re: A USIC strike. Just thinking outloud....

    locatorforlife sounds like just that.....a locator for life....or USIC's bitch either or

  4. #34
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    Default Re: A USIC strike. Just thinking outloud....

    My 2 cents, from here in semi socialist Germany. The unions here in Germany and much of the rest of Europe negotiate their wage structure, (notice not vacaton or health care benefit: they are mostly written into law. Call that whatever form of Socialism you want, I call it mostly for the good.) The negotiations affect the non union workers much like the way they used to affect American non union wages in the past, the gains they get, 'lift all boats'-wages of non union workers as well. The fact that American unions are today so weak, means that this 'lift all boats' doesn't work anymore. In this sense I say, too bad, the unions are just not strong enough, which also makes for difficult union organizing, probably much to the joy of management. (You (management)folks really can't think that the life of a Locator these days is a good deal?)
    My feeling at SM+P was, that we were doing just fine without a union, even though back then, there was quite a bit of talk about having one. Then, things began to change, and I started to see the wisdom of (that guy in particular) who was talking union.
    I have to get back to my premise that locating shouldn't be for profit. Locating their lines was once 'in house' for the utility companies, until the explosion, (pardon the expression), of utilities going underground, and they weren't able, or willing, to keep up with the demand to locate accurately and on time and keep their plant safe. Then came along the early locate companies offering a good product. Then came the profit incentive. Bad mix.
    I don't see any other way out of this race to the bottom-locate pricing, both by what the utilities are offering to pay, and what the locate companies are willing to bid for, until the Locators themselves, somehow, find a way to get what they deserve, and what that is, can be negotiated too. I don't think that locating should be for profit, and if it continues to be, then it needs a damn powerful union presence behind it.
    Aside from that, Locatorswife, I like your passion and comments, sounds like you understand the biz pretty well.

  5. #35
    Member Locateforlife's Avatar
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    Default Re: A USIC strike. Just thinking outloud....

    No I AM SOMEONE WITH WORK ETHIC and has an understanding that until I OWN the company I shut my mouth, DO MY JOB and LIFE GOES ON. Some on here know me. I tried management but my style of manageing..... Quality was not matching with the upper management; at the time; style of management..... production.
    GOD BLESS THE USA & the Damage Prevention Techs that are the heartbeat of the Utility industry.[/COLOR][/COLOR][/FONT]
    OPINIONS ARE LIKE A-HOLES EVERYONE HAS ONE.

  6. #36
    4Q2
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    Default Re: A USIC strike. Just thinking outloud....

    Problem is, once you sign a union contract, utilities would take damage prevention back in house. The very reason they subcontracted the work out in the first place was their own union employees were paid better and forced to do the locate properly by union contract which of course got expensive. That's how contract locate companies with their Chinese labor laws got started.

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    Senior Member ProfessionalLocator's Avatar
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    Default Re: A USIC strike. Just thinking outloud....

    Quote Originally Posted by 4Q2 View Post
    Problem is, once you sign a union contract, utilities would take damage prevention back in house. The very reason they subcontracted the work out in the first place was their own union employees were paid better and forced to do the locate properly by union contract which of course got expensive. That's how contract locate companies with their Chinese labor laws got started.

    Actually that is not the case, that is just what is used to scare locators. The utility companies in my area use various subcontractors that are Unionized.

  8. #38
    4Q2
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    Default Re: A USIC strike. Just thinking outloud....

    Yes, utility companies always have and will continue to use unionized subcontractors simply because the quality of work is higher and finished product better. But this more applies to projects and major improvements. Locating is more like routine maintenence, so it would only benefit them to have in-house employees who knew where the facilities are. The only reason they sub that out is it's cheaper to bypass union wage and proper locate/safety procedures..................

    And there are many fine open shop excavating contractors out there............. but all I'm sayin is........ I'm in one of the most highly congested area's in the US and I would rather have an 825/172 union crew digging on my marks than a Billy Bob Backhoe/Jackhammer Jake crew MOST of the time.

  9. #39
    Senior Member 6feetunder's Avatar
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    Default Re: A USIC strike. Just thinking outloud....

    Quote Originally Posted by 4Q2 View Post
    Problem is, once you sign a union contract, utilities would take damage prevention back in house. The very reason they subcontracted the work out in the first place was their own union employees were paid better and forced to do the locate properly by union contract which of course got expensive. That's how contract locate companies with their Chinese labor laws got started.


    Ummm, this is plain and simple not true. The price of a union backed locating firm would be nowhere near the pay of the actual utility union payscale. I have seen some of the contracts for unionized districts of USIC and the payscale is not as crazy as you make it sound. 1st 5 years are structured set pay raises, 5years in = 18$/hr after that raises are performance based. That's not going to put them out of business is it? It also would give people the incentive to once again make this JOB, a career instead, which means you gain back your wages in the form of experienced locators in each and every area. It's not like once you become a union you automatically go up to $30/hr. Also the utilities still have the incentive of keeping it outsourced for many reasons, but one major reason being locate firms are insurance policies!! That makes up for tens of thousands if not more every year in damages they will never pay, rather than if inhouse and there is a locate error they will be paying the damage cost. A union would also protect the employees from yanking and/or increasing/decreasing benefits/wages without you having a say in it. Let's keep in mind here they are making record profits, they are not hurting for money yet continue to slowly strip all the good benefits of this job, it would be much different if it were out of necessity for the company's survival, that's one thing I think the anti-union folks are forgetting. Unions were created for exactly this reason, employers being greedy and raping their employees, not out of NEED, but simple old GREED.
    Life's a garden, dig it! - Joe Dirt

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    Senior Member Bad Robot's Avatar
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    Default Re: A USIC strike. Just thinking outloud....

    Quote Originally Posted by Turk182 View Post
    I did get out, last February, after I met the new DM for district 43.


    This is where I work now.
    Union Pacific?

  11. #41
    Senior Member Turk182's Avatar
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    Default Re: A USIC strike. Just thinking outloud....

    Quote Originally Posted by Bad Robot View Post
    Union Pacific?
    It's a UP yard, but I don't work for UP, I work for the company they lease their railcars from.

  12. #42
    Senior Member Bad Robot's Avatar
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    Default Re: A USIC strike. Just thinking outloud....

    Quote Originally Posted by Turk182 View Post
    It's a UP yard, but I don't work for UP, I work for the company they lease their railcars from.
    I've seen so many aerial photos of the state of Illinois that I did not even hesitate to say that's what it was. I need a vacation..lol...

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