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Thread: Whats next for UTILITY LOCATORS

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    Default Whats next for UTILITY LOCATORS

    So rumor was going around that USIC took the aep contract in Indiana. I dont know about everywhere else but it was confirmed today that they did indeed start painting it January 1st. I dont know if most of you have ever heard of them the name of the company is Utility Locators and where im at they mark the aep in Indiana and I know they also have aep in ohio theyre just one way locators here . DId usic get ALL of AEP? And is there any guys who work for utility locators and what are they saying? DO they plan on bidding on a new contract or just closing down in Indiana. I believe these guys have had this contract for close to 20 years and I was told USIC placed a bid so low that if utility locators went below them they would be at a loss of making money if they continued to put paint down. I feel bad for the USIC guys cause there is a lot of buried AEP exp in the bigger citys..

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    Default Re: Whats next for UTILITY LOCATORS

    What is AEP? Is it a fiber, electric, catv, gas?

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    Default Re: Whats next for UTILITY LOCATORS

    Power

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    Default Re: Whats next for UTILITY LOCATORS

    Quote Originally Posted by superman View Post
    What is AEP? Is it a fiber, electric, catv, gas?
    I apologize it's one of the major power companies here

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    Default Re: Whats next for UTILITY LOCATORS

    This appears part of a very negative industry wide practice.

    A company holds a locate contract in an area. They charge enough to make profit. Then they bid on other contracts inside the same area so they need to hire only a minimal number of new locators if any at all.
    They bid so low they often make no more profit, profit comes off the first contract they had in the area.

    The purpose of the low ball bid is to deny contracts to their competition, not to make profit.

    They add the new low ball contract to their list of clients which makes them seem more desirable to other utilities that may have a contract for them to bid on later.
    Also they end up doing really poor service to the low ball contract. When the client complains the ask 'what did you think you were getting for such a cheap price? Want more then pay more.'.

    The long term effect of these low ball bids are to poison the soil for everybody.
    FieldTech561, UULC and phoenix827 like this.

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    Default Re: Whats next for UTILITY LOCATORS

    That is the poison apple in our business. All the companies were low balling each other and the utilities just sat back and enjoyed it. Their cost kept going down and the liability was not theirs. In IL we were getting paid between $5-8 for charter and comcast tickets. Last year usic picked up WE energies in WI. We were told that WE energies were very happy with our numbers and such but usic under bid the contract. My company just renewed another contract and we were told by many usic locators that usic severely underbid just to get it away from the other company. There was the frontier fiasco from under biding.

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    Default Re: Whats next for UTILITY LOCATORS

    Quote Originally Posted by paintitnow View Post
    That is the poison apple in our business. All the companies were low balling each other and the utilities just sat back and enjoyed it. Their cost kept going down and the liability was not theirs. In IL we were getting paid between $5-8 for charter and comcast tickets. Last year usic picked up WE energies in WI. We were told that WE energies were very happy with our numbers and such but usic under bid the contract. My company just renewed another contract and we were told by many usic locators that usic severely underbid just to get it away from the other company. There was the frontier fiasco from under biding.
    It's sad usic is basically the mafia in utility locating. They take what they can for whatever they can get just to keep from a competitor from stepping foot in the same yard as them. The managers always say when people quit for a better paying locating job that they don't understand how that company can pay their locators as much as they do. It's obvious that these other companies doesn't take contracts for crumbs and that's why these other companies can pay usic top locators more money then usic and that there is why and how other companies do it lol. Sorry usic really just gets under my skin. Not a day I woke up did I look forward to work lol
    locator007332 likes this.

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    Default Re: Whats next for UTILITY LOCATORS

    JOINING OR CREATING A UNION FOR LOCATORS WILL HELP KEEP MORE OF AN EVEN PLAYING FIELD WHEN IT COMES TO PREVENTING USIC FROM UNDER BIDDING EVERYONE.
    LOCATORS IN INDIANA ARE HOPING TO GET OVERWHELMING SUPPORT, FROM THE REST OF THE COUNTRY TO EITHER JOIN A UNION OR CREATE ONE.
    THE TIME TO START ORGANIZING IS NOW AND MAKE THE PUSH COME SPRING OF 2015.
    Employer Tactics
    Unions mean more power for workers to bargain for better wages and benefits. For management, however, a union means less power and control. As a result, many employers tend to resort to both subtle and drastic measures to keep workers from speaking out. When workers stick together they can overcome management’s tactics and, in the end, make a better place to work for everyone.

    Many employers respect workers’ rights and basic freedom to choose when it comes to union representation but sometimes they try to get in the way. It is important for you to know that you might encounter an employer that may attempt to coerce, manipulate, bribe, or even threaten you.

    Typical Threats

    Some companies that feel threatened by the idea of their workers being represented by a union sometimes resort to various tactics in order to keep you from organizing. These include love tactics and scare tactics that, while opposite in their approach, can both have equally damaging effect for workers trying to get an independent voice at work.

    Love Tactics
    Your employer might try to sway you from supporting a union by saying


    • "Give us a chance"
    Employers may admit to making mistakes assuring that those mistakes will be remedied and will never occur again. Management may send out "love letters," which formally apologize for any wrong doings in the past and make promises for a better future.
    (USIC has been given chance after chance to only come back and not change a thing except expect more, push more, demand more, try to control more and simply brush off the employees)

    • Bribes
    Your company may implement temporary changes or improvements in reaction to a union organizing campaign. These changes rarely last beyond the campaign because the employer has no reason to uphold them when the threat of a union goes away. Your employer is free to make these changes after your store votes for or against union representation, but it is illegal for the employer to interfere with the campaign.
    (USIC tried to give pennies on the dollar in “secret” raises, during the union push in 2013. These raises amounted to cents only. Cents on the dollar is not worth keeping it the way it is. Real money talks and that is the opportunity that we have with the union at our side.)


    • A Sudden Change in Attitude
    The attitude of your employer towards you and your fellow workers might dramatically improve. Management is suddenly very concerned with showing you how much they appreciate and respect you as a member of the company. Activities, such as lunches, dinners and picnics, are organized for workers and their families – activities that did not exist before the union began the organizing campaign.
    (This was something that USIC did not do in 2013, because it costs them money. It would take out of management’s bonuses. We usually meet once a year at around the beginning of December for lunch somewhere. We are always reminded of a per person price limit.)
    Scare Tactics
    Or your employer might try to sway you from supporting a union by saying . . . . .
    • Management Won’t Listen to the Union
    Management wants you to believe that workers coming together in a union have little power and that, should the workplace become unionized, management won’t bargain with the workers or comply with the workers’ contract. What management doesn’t want you to know is that, by federal law, they must cooperate when workers form a union.
    (Everyone will have to be mindful of this and stick together! Leaking out and trying to deal with management one on one will hurt the campaign. This will show management that they can break your unity on this issue. This will cause them to have the upper hand)
    • Threatening Your Benefits
    It is against the law to threaten your benefits as punishment for supporting a union.
    (Benefits are costly at USIC as is, don’t fall for this. Unity will get us what we want/need. Report any of these threats or talk thereof, to the group so we can notify the union Business Agent (BA) of the infractions)
    • Pressuring Team Leaders and Supervisors
    Management may pressure your supervisors to subtly, or not so subtly, spread anti-union messages around your store. Many times, supervisors will use their personal relationships with employees to manipulate and harass. Again, under federal law, management is not allowed to promote, recruit, or fund any form of anti-union committee.
    (There are no personal relationships with supervisors or management any way. How many times has your supervisor or manager called to say hey or called to check on you when you’re sick or a family member is ill? They only call when you have done something wrong or they need something from you.)
    • We’re a Family - We’re a Team
    Management might organize a mandatory meeting in order to spread an anti-union message throughout your workplace, emphasizing that the company is a family and should stand united against the union. It is not unusual for anti-union videos and other forms of propaganda to be shown at these meetings.
    (During the 2013 organization attempt, management continually sent emails like this. If we are such a family and such a team, then why are we as the actual locators always considered guilty until proven innocent on damages etc. A family and a team would try to prove the contractor is at fault first, and always have their family and teams back first.)
    • Anti-Union Consultants
    Management may get so desperate that they hire highly paid union-busting consultants. These people are paid to keep workers from forming a union at any cost. Many times, employers pay these people as much as, or more than, it would cost to make workplace improvements that would benefit workers.
    (You will know when this has happened. There will be rumor mills of rats, rumors of employee misconduct, many videos of ACTORS portraying the union as bad. Look into “union busters” on the internet.)
    • Strikes
    The reality of strikes is that it’s your choice. Unions will examine all other alternatives before a strike is deemed necessary. Statistically, less than 1% of thousands of UFCW negotiated contracts end in strikes. Only members can decide to strike.
    (None of you are stupid to believe management will push it to a strike. If you are unified in mass, you could hurt the company more than they can hurt you. There are not enough employees anywhere that could back fill enough to cover your entire areas. They will act like they are not worried about this, when they in fact know that a strike caused by the company refusing contract issues, will shut the company down and cost them a lot of customers in the mean time. You all know how supervisors and management are all about keeping their customers happy.)
    • $ Money, Money, Money $
    Your employer may attempt to frighten you with talk about all the money you will pay if you form a union. However, these claims are false. When workers come together to form a union at their workplace, they aren’t required to pay any of the costs associated with it. You will pay dues only when you have a contract. But dues bring large rewards in pay raises, benefits, job security, representation and working conditions. The added pay and benefits workers receive through belonging to the union are much more than the cost of union dues. The dues go to pay for organizers, legal assistance, support staff, rent, materials, etc. which are all needed to maintain good contracts and adequate representation. No one pays dues until the workers have voted to accept a contract.
    (Dues are usually between $25 and $45 a month. Getting a pay raise will more than cover the cost of that of course. You don’t have to be a mathematician to see that the dues are simply $1 to $2 per work day. With a significant pay raise, you will never miss it.)


    UNITY IN MASS IS KEY!!!!!!!!!!

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    Default Re: Whats next for UTILITY LOCATORS

    THINGS TO SHOOT FOR ON A 3 YEAR CONTRACT
    1. $5.50 per hour, pay increase. 60% ($3.30) effective at time of contract signing and through the first year of contract. Effective on the first day of the second year 20% ($1.10) pay raise. Effective on the first day of the third year 20% ($1.10) pay raise.

    2. Benefits and cost remains the same as 2015 enrollment period.


    3. All Federal Holidays off of work with a paid 8 hours at regular rate of pay.

    4. 8 hour work days. 7am to 3:30pm or 8am to 4:30pm, with mandatory 30 minute lunch

    5. Over time – 8 hours per day at regular rate of pay, over 8 hours and under to include 12 hours at one plus one half times regular rate of pay, over 12 hours until midnight at double times regular rate of pay.

    6. Working on a Federal Holiday, double times regular rate of pay up to 8 hours, 8 hours to midnight at triple times regular rate of pay.

    7. Weekend work – Saturdays, 8 hours at one plus one half times regular rate of pay, 8 hours to midnight at double times regular rate of pay. Sundays, 8 hours at double times regular rate of pay, 8 hours to midnight at triple times rate of pay.

    8. Vacation time – 6 months to 1 year of service = 40 hours of vacation. 1 year to 3 years of service = 80 hours of vacation. 3 years to 5 years of service = 96 hours of vacation. 5 years to 20 years of service = 120 hours of vacation, 20 years to retirement = 8 additional hours of vacation per each additional year of service.

    9. Personal/sick time – 1 year to 3 years of service = 0 hours, 3 years to retirement = 40 hours.

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    Default Re: Whats next for UTILITY LOCATORS

    USIC got the contract because AEP wanted a single Locating Firm

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    Default Re: Whats next for UTILITY LOCATORS

    Utility Locators was NOT underbid. They do it for less $'s then they did 17 years ago.

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    Default Re: Whats next for UTILITY LOCATORS

    Quote Originally Posted by locatorman View Post
    USIC got the contract because AEP wanted a single Locating Firm
    a single locating firm?

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    Default Re: Whats next for UTILITY LOCATORS

    Quote Originally Posted by locatorman View Post
    Utility Locators was NOT underbid. They do it for less $'s then they did 17 years ago.
    Maybe they got sloppy and aep were just going to drop them anyway. Usic and some others have their sneaky ways no doubt. One of our Utilities told me they would never go back to Usic and sacrifice quality to save those few bucks. Might not always use us but made it clear it wouldn't choose the big guys again. Supposedly Usic still owes them a few grand on a damage, same as another contract we have.

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    Default Re: Whats next for UTILITY LOCATORS

    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Edward View Post
    Maybe they got sloppy and aep were just going to drop them anyway. Usic and some others have their sneaky ways no doubt. One of our Utilities told me they would never go back to Usic and sacrifice quality to save those few bucks. Might not always use us but made it clear it wouldn't choose the big guys again. Supposedly Usic still owes them a few grand on a damage, same as another contract we have.
    They where good around here i thought. They beat me to locates and im just marking fiber. I never got any tickets with damages or 2nd notices for the aep locators. Whether its denied im almost at a guarantee USIC underbid. Their moto is "We are there anyways so we can do it for x amount of $$" So they can underbid them guys that rely just on that contract. They're snakes. If they are the only locating company in the state there is no competition and there is no wages to have to compete with.

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    Default Re: Whats next for UTILITY LOCATORS

    Quote Originally Posted by Teddy121 View Post
    They where good around here i thought. They beat me to locates and im just marking fiber. I never got any tickets with damages or 2nd notices for the aep locators. Whether its denied im almost at a guarantee USIC underbid. Their moto is "We are there anyways so we can do it for x amount of $$" So they can underbid them guys that rely just on that contract. They're snakes. If they are the only locating company in the state there is no competition and there is no wages to have to compete with.
    I have gone years between responding to an AEP damage. They couldn't have been that bad. It only takes one or two high profile mistakes sometimes for an entire contract to be lost and everyone that works for them loses. I know they've had a few but you never hear if the locates were to blame.

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