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Thread: Face to face

  1. #1
    Junior Member Indy911's Avatar
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    Default Face to face

    Hello all.

    Jumped through most of the hoops and have my face to face interview coming up. Never worked in this field before, but have done outdoor work for a major toll road. Pleased to see that even in the lean months you still get your 40 hours in. From what i have seen, most of you really enjoy your work.
    I have yet to discuss pay and don't want to undervalue myself. I'm currently unemployed and collect about 330 a week. Without being too personal, may I ask how much I should expect, or ask for when we get to the point of pay?

    Looking foward to joining the brotherhood.

    Simper Gumby

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    Administrator TheCableVine's Avatar
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    Default Re: Face to face

    Over here in the North West 9-10 bucks is reasonable.

    Oh... and welcome to the vine.
    "Change does not always equal progress."

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    Senior Member yahoo's Avatar
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    Default Re: Face to face

    welcome to the vine...post often.................down here in the south you will start out at 12.00 an hour! depending on military experience and past work history maybe even 13.00 an hour.....
    wise men talk because they have something to say and fools because they have to say something....plato

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    Conservative Meanie ifinditunderground's Avatar
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    Default Re: Face to face

    Welcome to the show Indy
    There is a fine line between "Hobby" and "Mental Illness."
    "America isn't free, in America you are free to follow the rules." -Anthony Cumia


  5. #5
    Junior Member Indy911's Avatar
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    Default Re: Face to face

    Thanks for the reply guys. By the way, it's USIC that a may work for.

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    Default Re: Face to face

    This pay rate being discussed is despicable. You are now part of the problem rather than the solution. With the huge surge in contract locating companies underbidding each other, these compensation packages for Locators will continue to diminish. This site is perpetually bombarded with gripes and whines about pay and working conditions, yet no one does anything about it. Unionize while you still have a fighting chance. I have been Locating for the last 25+ years at a great rate and for a great company. In house of course. This company understands the the importance of a group of company committed employees that are not just here as a fly over temp job until "something better" shows up. Dedicated employees that have a stake in there utility being the best it can is worth it's weight in gold. I will continue to read posts about how each Locator get's chewed a new one after every damage, and how they are financially punished for damages, forced to put in 12 or 14 hour day's, how their supervisor is some pencil pushing douche that has never seen the field. This will continue till the end of time unless you stand up and fight for your rights. It will be very tough sledding and seem impossible, but that's what the price will be. Many before you have fought the fight successfully so it is not impossible. There is strength in numbers. Good luck to all you boot painted brothers. Settle for nothing less than your true value.

  7. #7
    Mke
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    Default Re: Face to face

    I'm Confused.... are you for Unionizing or against?

    Noob's are not the problem, they don't know anybetter. Besides, you can't unionize unless your on the inside anyways.

    The bigger problem is people like you and I, the ones who have good inhouse jobs. The ones who could be supported by our companies to attend local one-call center meetings and PUC meetings and could run to get on these boards. Then and only then can locators start making a difference. You think just because a company unionizes that will solve everything? The only thing that will happen when a contract locating company unionizes, is that will start the ball rolling and they will eventually loose their contract and won't have the work load to maintain those workers.

    The only way to improve the industry is to start from the top down, not the bottom up. The bottom can always be replaced.

    Crappin on someone just because they got an interview with a contract locating company isn't the way to go about things. The pay rate is standard for contract locating. When I started in 2000 I started at $8.00hr. Almost 10yrs later i'm at 20+an hr. Now, depending on the area you can start at about $12... Thats not bad. Who's to say in 10yrs he's not making 30an hour?


    Good Luck Indy

    Post often

    mke

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    Default Re: Face to face

    Who say's you can't unionize? You are federally protected to organize ANY work group at ANY time. Anyone that tells you otherwise is a liar and only perpetuating the myth.
    I agree that a company may fold under these union conditions but after a long and painful battle there will only be one outcome, a few decent contract firms that employ good paying jobs. What is the alternative for utility companies. They have to have the locates performed because of federal mandates, and if the only resource is a handful of top quality contract companies, they will have to pay. Of course it will still be cheaper than to have a full time in house benefit employee but the pay could still be there.
    I am not trying to bash some poor schlep looking for a job, but why am I paid $34+ dollars /hour when we are both doing the same work.
    Granted the Contracting firm would have substantial costs with liability but these could be kept to a minimum with a full time staff that is committed to their company. These are the types of employees that historically have performed at the highest level, those with a real stake in the company.
    As long as contractor "A" can do the work for $.10 cents cheaper than contractor "B", "A" will get the bid. When the contract is up then contractor "C" shows up for $.10 cents less than the previous. How does he manage this? Simply by paying his employees less. The spiral is out of control.
    Say and think what you want. I know from substantial studies of union labor history that this is the way it starts. Read up on the history of the UAW and the Teamsters and the Garment workers. The Ace up the sleeve here is that these are not jobs that can be resourced to another country. The last 15 years of contract locating has been at best an even keel, not even keeping up with either inflation or the cost of living index.
    I know many of you have jumped in pay over the years but based on the "Utility Compensation Index" you are falling behind every year by at least 1.8%. Add this up over the last 15 years and the amount is staggering.
    Think long and hard about this. It pains me so, to run into contract locators on job sites and to hear from them about their pay and working conditions.
    Many people are profiting heavily from the backs of your labor. Don't let them use you any more.

  9. #9
    Senior Member [HAF]Foxtrot's Avatar
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    Default Re: Face to face

    Unions are good, but are a Devil in the woodpile. Unions were one reason General Motors is now owned by the government. However, MKE hit the nail on the head. To fix anything you will have to start from the top up.

    Work for Consolidated, Make bout 11.50/hr. If I were to go to piece-rate, my paycheck would double but at a price. Determines what company and state you are working for. I know Georgia CUS makes around 12-13 starting out.

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    Default Re: Face to face

    Ok, Peak....I can't take anymore. There are definately industries in which labor unions have improved working conditions and have benefitted the employees. However, Contract Locating is not one of them. Here's why:

    Based on publically available records, STS/Utiliquest saw Revenue in Sales of $217.6 million in 2008. Likewise, SM&P's Sales were estimated (cannot pinpoint due to sale of business) at around $195 million. These numbers sound high don't they? Well...we're not finished yet.

    According to a March 2009 article in the Journal of Labor Research, unionized shops within the private sector receive a 22.7% premium in wages over their non-unionized counterparts. If only it were that easy.

    Now, stay with me here. I'm not a mathematician, so let's assume that the average technician makes around $14 per hour. When you include base pay, OT, medical benefits & insurance, retirement benefits (401k), truck payments & depreciation, vacation & sick time, truck insurance, equipment depreciation, fuel & oil, cell phone, and vehicle maintenance, each tech would cost the company approximately $61k. Using our 22.7% premium number, that would jump to around $75k (give or take).

    Now, let's add in the overhead. For a company the size of the two mentioned above, you have to account for executive positions, administrative positions, legal & other professional services, IT, etc. Since these are all non-producing positions, meaning they generate no revenue, we have to add this cost in with the "per tech" cost. This brings our coust (and this is VERY ROUGH math) to about $75k and $92k respectively. I'm being really conservative with these estimates!

    So, if you have a company with 2,500 employees, a Gross Revenue of approx. $217k, and a non-union labor expense of $75k...the profit margin would be about 14%. But, if you change the numbers a little to 2,500 employees, a Gross Revenue of approx. $217k, and a UNION labor expense of $92k...the profit margin would be about -6%.

    As you can see, the profit margins for Contract Locating firms is tight to begin with, but when you add the expense of a unionized shop, it gets much worse. Unionizing is not the solution!

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Face to face

    .
    Last edited by sling'n paint; March 5th, 2010 at 08:09 PM.

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    Conservative Meanie ifinditunderground's Avatar
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    Default Re: Face to face

    Nicely done MOJO
    There is a fine line between "Hobby" and "Mental Illness."
    "America isn't free, in America you are free to follow the rules." -Anthony Cumia


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    Default Re: Face to face

    Sorry I got sidetracked...Good luck in the interview Indy!

  14. #14
    Junior Member Indy911's Avatar
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    Default Re: Face to face

    Wow, almost sorry I asked. Didn't mean to open up a can of whoop-ass.

    I'm a noob and a poor schlep all in one day.

    My dad was a union troubleshooter in Michigan. I walked the picket line in Youngstown Ohio at 3 years old. We slept with 38's under our pillows and with attack dogs and guards around our house during the wildcat strike in 68. The only thing I ever got from a union was high dues, no "real" backup and death threats when I was a kid.

    Reminder to self.............Don't ask questions,if you don't want the answer.

  15. #15
    Mke
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    Default Re: Face to face

    Indy,

    No disrespect on the Noob comment, we were all there.... some still are. wear it as a badge of honor..... or maybe a sash... Yeah a sash of honor that will work.

    As you can see, the Locating industry is split, some would even call it fractured into many pieces. One of the dividing lines is Union vs. Non-Union. Private Locates Vs. Public Locates. In-house locates Vs. Contract Locates. The real violent breaks are seperated by color of boots.... Orange vs Red vs Blue Vs Yellow etc...


    mke

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