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#11 05-10-2008 02:00:50

unionwirewoman
Member
From: Kalispell , Mt .
Registered: 04-17-2008
Posts: 64

Re: What are your feelings on Unions ?

homecatmom wrote:

I worked for 33 years in a closed shop environment.  Closed shop meaning that you paid union dues whether or not you joined the union, since you received the benefits that the union negotiated for it's members.  You were also able to file a grievance if you were treated unfairly (against the written contract).  Now saying that you are "able" to file a grievance, and "working on" your grievance while you are a non-union member were two different things.  My experience with the union was two sided.  I was a pretty hard worker.  I saw people that were lazy and unqualified that stayed working because they were protected by the union.  As a manager, my husband has been grieved because he reprimanded his techs for not doing their jobs.  My father always felt that the unions were needed in the past when workers were subjected to unsafe working conditions and labor practices, but felt the union had gotten too much power and was no longer needed.  Now the union at my husbands job grieves silly, petty things that are not even contract issues.  Because the grievances must be met on within a certain number of days, managers must stop what they are working on and prepare the necessary paperwork required for a grievance and schedule the meeting and then meet on it, even if it has NO merit.  This is a waste of time and energy in my opinion.  I feel that the union officers should be held accountable for this type of frivilous act.

Very sad indeed ...must be a difficult situation with your husband walking a fine line . I'm suprised that he has to file the greivance though . Most of the time the Union rep. takes care of the grievances because the contractor is a middle man so to say . I can say though that I have been told that Union guys seem to be a little more ....let's say... lax.... on working in the bigger cities and back East . They seem to all have the "big job " mentality . Our contract states "eight hours work for eight hours pay " . My fiance' is in a position now that is similar . We are remodeling a Safeway 5 hours away and had 2 travelers come in off the books . They wander around most of the time and only get about 4 hours worth of work done in 10 hours . As a Union , we are trying to stop this . Why charge more for being Union when the quality of work is crappy ! These guys will be gone in a week , if you don't work....you don't belong on ANY job . One of these guys cut his finger on a sawzall 2 nights ago . It was barely bleeding and I had to take him to the ER . The doc kinda laughed at him and gave him a bandaid . Guys like that don't deserve to be in the Union . I work my butt off everyday ...especially being an apprentice . Guys that don't work can go down the road . Maybe we just need to be more selective on who we let in . Slackers need not apply !!! Thanks for the input ! shrug


Be true , Be yourself , But most importantly....be YOURSELF ! If you can't look yourself in the mirror each morning , and know that you are a good person...then what the hell are you living for !!!!

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#12 05-10-2008 07:20:09

homecatmom
Silver Member
From: So. Calif.
Registered: 03-09-2008
Posts: 134

Re: What are your feelings on Unions ?

It isn't that the husband has to 'file' the grievance, he is management and must do his side of the paperwork so that he can meet with the union rep on it.  I feel that a valid breach of contract should be filed upon and rectified, saying that I also feel that frivolous grievances should not only be thrown out, but the union should be held accountable for their 'breach of contract'.  Many productive work hours are squandered on silly, non-contractual, and technically non-grievable day to day problems.  Some of the grievances are indeed valid, but when the union files, just to file and cause disruption, I feel they should be held accountable.


"He who sits on fence, gets splinters in butt"

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#13 05-12-2008 11:33:50

M1Garand
Member
From: The Quiet Corner Of CT
Registered: 02-20-2008
Posts: 53
Website

Re: What are your feelings on Unions ?

pissed I had a union job from 1984 to  1998. The union was there not because the workforce wanted it, but was initially "invited" in by the company so we could work on large union construction jobs along side the other trades. I despised the union and everyting it stood for. All it did was keep me down wage wise, since the wages were negotiated by contract, and not based on MY performance. It also prevented things like monetary bonuses, awards, and earning extra time off. Plus the fact that they confiscated my hard earned pay for dues, and then used the money to fund political campaigns for candidates I never supported, yet were favorable to "labor". At one point there were slugs with less training and abilities than mine, yet they made upwards of $5.00/hour more than me, due to companies changing ownership. A bunch of guys left, their company was bought, and then we were bought by the same company so we were all together again. It was the loyal employees like myself that got screwed. Complaints were met by "well, there's the door." I so wanted them to fire me, and told my supervisor to do just that at my last performance review with them. I was sick of working for others and wanted to be self employed, but had little motivation to start something while making pretty good money. I said that if I lost my job, I would hit the ground running, so do me a favor and fire me. I finally quit about 8 months later. I have been working for a small, privately owned, non-union company since 1998 and have no regrets about not being in a union now. Back in 2000, I sat and figured out how long it would take me to get where I am now had I stayed at the old company. It was like 2012. What's left of the old company is hardly anything, and if I have to work, I'm pretty satisfied where I am. :bfs


BLAM! BLAM! BLAM! BLAM! BLAM! BLAM! BLAM! BLAM! .....pa-ting!
65 years old and still going strong  US RIFLE CAL .30 M1  #3105XXX
Thank you John Garand, Springfield Armory, and the men who fired them to save the world

My Coop and Run   http://www.geocities.com/ody_the_dog/Co … _Page.html

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#14 05-13-2008 04:19:48

Patchofheaven
Platinum Member
From: Conroe, TX
Registered: 02-05-2008
Posts: 1024

Re: What are your feelings on Unions ?

I was a PTF Clerk for the US Post Office for 3 years - I loved my job for 3 years anyway.  I was in the Union because everyone else was - I felt alot of pressure to join, but was later glad that I did.  I was working as a Window Clerk and I was also in charge of the Stamp Vending machines in the lobby - loved it the people were great and I loved my Customers. 

My Supervisor transferred all of the stamp stock from the previous girls name to mine.  Shortly there after the price of stamps rose from .32 to .33 and I had to turn in all of the .32 stamps.  I didn't know that this would later come back to haunt me.  Every 120 days we were required to count our stock and make sure that we were not short.  The first 120 days count - I was right on the money - nothing short or over.  The next 120 days count - I was $13,000.00 short and we could not figure out the problem. 

My Supervisor advised me that anytime a clerk is over or under by a $100.00 it had to be reported to the Postal Police and be investigated.  There were probably 6 Investigators that came in unannounced one morning, they came to my station and basically took me my the arm and paraded me through the facility like a convict.  They put me in a office and started interrogating me, telling me that I was going to Federal Prison for stealing that money unless I gave it back, then they tried to make me take a polygraph - By this time the Union Reps heard what was going on and Intervened.  The Union advised me not to take a polygraph because the Investigators had ways to incriminate me through trick questions.  The Investigators also interviewed my neighbors and ex-husband.  The Union stepped in and protected me, but really the damage was done - I must have been a thief.  Later, we found out that the $13,000.00 was still in the safe and was actually the .32 stamp stock that my Supervisor was supposed to have sent to Headquarters 6 months earlier.  Because he did not go through the proper procedures, my Supervisor was demoted and transferred. 

I never received an apology or anything for what they put me through.  I stayed working there for about 6 more months, but I just didn't feel the same about the people and I didn't love my job anymore so I quit.

I have to say that the Union was good to me - I was young and scared - they protected me.

Last edited by Patchofheaven (05-13-2008 04:22:46)


Love would never be a promise of a rose garden, unless it is showered with light of faith, water of sincerity and air of passion.

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#15 05-13-2008 08:30:54

M1Garand
Member
From: The Quiet Corner Of CT
Registered: 02-20-2008
Posts: 53
Website

Re: What are your feelings on Unions ?

Patchofheaven wrote:

I was a PTF Clerk for the US Post Office for 3 years - I loved my job for 3 years anyway.  I was in the Union because everyone else was - I felt alot of pressure to join, but was later glad that I did.  I was working as a Window Clerk and I was also in charge of the Stamp Vending machines in the lobby - loved it the people were great and I loved my Customers. 

My Supervisor transferred all of the stamp stock from the previous girls name to mine.  Shortly there after the price of stamps rose from .32 to .33 and I had to turn in all of the .32 stamps.  I didn't know that this would later come back to haunt me.  Every 120 days we were required to count our stock and make sure that we were not short.  The first 120 days count - I was right on the money - nothing short or over.  The next 120 days count - I was $13,000.00 short and we could not figure out the problem. 

My Supervisor advised me that anytime a clerk is over or under by a $100.00 it had to be reported to the Postal Police and be investigated.  There were probably 6 Investigators that came in unannounced one morning, they came to my station and basically took me my the arm and paraded me through the facility like a convict.  They put me in a office and started interrogating me, telling me that I was going to Federal Prison for stealing that money unless I gave it back, then they tried to make me take a polygraph - By this time the Union Reps heard what was going on and Intervened.  The Union advised me not to take a polygraph because the Investigators had ways to incriminate me through trick questions.  The Investigators also interviewed my neighbors and ex-husband.  The Union stepped in and protected me, but really the damage was done - I must have been a thief.  Later, we found out that the $13,000.00 was still in the safe and was actually the .32 stamp stock that my Supervisor was supposed to have sent to Headquarters 6 months earlier.  Because he did not go through the proper procedures, my Supervisor was demoted and transferred. 

I never received an apology or anything for what they put me through.  I stayed working there for about 6 more months, but I just didn't feel the same about the people and I didn't love my job anymore so I quit.

I have to say that the Union was good to me - I was young and scared - they protected me.

I am glad things worked out OK for you. That is the kind of thing unions were initially there for, it just now seems to be the exception not the rule. I work in a lot of postal facilities now as a contractor, and those postal police creep me out. When it's quiet, sometimes you hear them walking around in those closed catwalks behind the one-way mirror windows. Kind of like the Gestapo, without the summary executions and torture.


BLAM! BLAM! BLAM! BLAM! BLAM! BLAM! BLAM! BLAM! .....pa-ting!
65 years old and still going strong  US RIFLE CAL .30 M1  #3105XXX
Thank you John Garand, Springfield Armory, and the men who fired them to save the world

My Coop and Run   http://www.geocities.com/ody_the_dog/Co … _Page.html

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#16 05-26-2008 07:59:28

unionwirewoman08
New member
From: Kalispell , Mt.
Registered: 05-26-2008
Posts: 5

Re: What are your feelings on Unions ?

M1Garand wrote:

pissed I had a union job from 1984 to  1998. The union was there not because the workforce wanted it, but was initially "invited" in by the company so we could work on large union construction jobs along side the other trades. I despised the union and everyting it stood for. All it did was keep me down wage wise, since the wages were negotiated by contract, and not based on MY performance. It also prevented things like monetary bonuses, awards, and earning extra time off. Plus the fact that they confiscated my hard earned pay for dues, and then used the money to fund political campaigns for candidates I never supported, yet were favorable to "labor". At one point there were slugs with less training and abilities than mine, yet they made upwards of $5.00/hour more than me, due to companies changing ownership. A bunch of guys left, their company was bought, and then we were bought by the same company so we were all together again. It was the loyal employees like myself that got screwed. Complaints were met by "well, there's the door." I so wanted them to fire me, and told my supervisor to do just that at my last performance review with them. I was sick of working for others and wanted to be self employed, but had little motivation to start something while making pretty good money. I said that if I lost my job, I would hit the ground running, so do me a favor and fire me. I finally quit about 8 months later. I have been working for a small, privately owned, non-union company since 1998 and have no regrets about not being in a union now. Back in 2000, I sat and figured out how long it would take me to get where I am now had I stayed at the old company. It was like 2012. What's left of the old company is hardly anything, and if I have to work, I'm pretty satisfied where I am. :bfs

So sorry that your experience wasn't great . I believe that in life....Union or non-union you have to make it for yourself . I'm in the electrical Union , so ours is probably alot different in some aspects . I also believe that the representation of your Union officers has alot to do with it . I have been through so much crap with all of mine that at times I wonder why I am even still here . But for all of the bad I go through , the good shines through . It is a known fact though , that Unions help to raise wages (unless you're in a right to work state ) . Take Davis / Bacon for instance . It states that the highest wage on the job is what determines wages . Most Union electricians make more than any other trade , so this helps to boost other wages . Last year I received a 40 hour check for a Christmas bonus . Our contract states what the minimum wage is that we will recieve , it's up to the contractor if they want to pay an employee more . I don't mind paying dues , for the simple fact that most of it goes into 5 different annuities and pensions . I don't however like the fact that a very small percentage goes towards political payoffs . We just went through a bunch of BS with some of the guys I'm working with . They were a buch of low life , slackers . Our contract states 8 hours work for 8 hours pay ....they were giving 4 for 10 . These are the guys that give the Unions a bad name . They are the first to file grievances over piddly shit . My fiance' laid one off and the guy was pissed about it . He should have been fired ! The guy called the state electrical inspector ...so he should show up this week , which isn't a big deal because we always do everything by code anyway . Take the good with the bad I guess ! shrug


Be TRUE....Be Yourself....But most importantley...be Yourself . If you can't look at yourself in the mirror every morning....and know that you are a good person....Then what are you living for ???

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#17 05-28-2008 12:09:41

Spotted Crow
Silver Member
Registered: 12-11-2007
Posts: 248

Re: What are your feelings on Unions ?

It's like everything else...there's good and bad...

I was in a union just once...it was a retail union and it did nothing for me...it even took union dues out of my severance pay...shrug

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#18 05-29-2008 11:04:52

M1Garand
Member
From: The Quiet Corner Of CT
Registered: 02-20-2008
Posts: 53
Website

Re: What are your feelings on Unions ?

unionwirewoman08 wrote:

M1Garand wrote:

pissed I had a union job from 1984 to  1998. The union was there not because the workforce wanted it, but was initially "invited" in by the company so we could work on large union construction jobs along side the other trades. I despised the union and everyting it stood for. All it did was keep me down wage wise, since the wages were negotiated by contract, and not based on MY performance. It also prevented things like monetary bonuses, awards, and earning extra time off. Plus the fact that they confiscated my hard earned pay for dues, and then used the money to fund political campaigns for candidates I never supported, yet were favorable to "labor". At one point there were slugs with less training and abilities than mine, yet they made upwards of $5.00/hour more than me, due to companies changing ownership. A bunch of guys left, their company was bought, and then we were bought by the same company so we were all together again. It was the loyal employees like myself that got screwed. Complaints were met by "well, there's the door." I so wanted them to fire me, and told my supervisor to do just that at my last performance review with them. I was sick of working for others and wanted to be self employed, but had little motivation to start something while making pretty good money. I said that if I lost my job, I would hit the ground running, so do me a favor and fire me. I finally quit about 8 months later. I have been working for a small, privately owned, non-union company since 1998 and have no regrets about not being in a union now. Back in 2000, I sat and figured out how long it would take me to get where I am now had I stayed at the old company. It was like 2012. What's left of the old company is hardly anything, and if I have to work, I'm pretty satisfied where I am. :bfs

So sorry that your experience wasn't great . I believe that in life....Union or non-union you have to make it for yourself . I'm in the electrical Union , so ours is probably alot different in some aspects . I also believe that the representation of your Union officers has alot to do with it . I have been through so much crap with all of mine that at times I wonder why I am even still here . But for all of the bad I go through , the good shines through . It is a known fact though , that Unions help to raise wages (unless you're in a right to work state ) . Take Davis / Bacon for instance . It states that the highest wage on the job is what determines wages . Most Union electricians make more than any other trade , so this helps to boost other wages . Last year I received a 40 hour check for a Christmas bonus . Our contract states what the minimum wage is that we will recieve , it's up to the contractor if they want to pay an employee more . I don't mind paying dues , for the simple fact that most of it goes into 5 different annuities and pensions . I don't however like the fact that a very small percentage goes towards political payoffs . We just went through a bunch of BS with some of the guys I'm working with . They were a buch of low life , slackers . Our contract states 8 hours work for 8 hours pay ....they were giving 4 for 10 . These are the guys that give the Unions a bad name . They are the first to file grievances over piddly shit . My fiance' laid one off and the guy was pissed about it . He should have been fired ! The guy called the state electrical inspector ...so he should show up this week , which isn't a big deal because we always do everything by code anyway . Take the good with the bad I guess ! shrug

At the communications company where I worked, near the end, we were a combination of CWA and IBEW. The IBEW guys lost their annuity and vacation fund when we got smooshed back together, because CWA became the main union. I'm glad it works for you, and you were right, the only way I could make anything better for myself was to leave. So I did.


BLAM! BLAM! BLAM! BLAM! BLAM! BLAM! BLAM! BLAM! .....pa-ting!
65 years old and still going strong  US RIFLE CAL .30 M1  #3105XXX
Thank you John Garand, Springfield Armory, and the men who fired them to save the world

My Coop and Run   http://www.geocities.com/ody_the_dog/Co … _Page.html

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