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Old 12-13-2008, 11:02 PM   #21
 
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I have a different take on it oldman.

The common goal is to get the NON-UNION CONTRACTORS to open their pocketbooks so that ALL construction electricians can make a decent living.
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Old 12-13-2008, 11:12 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by ibewwolf View Post
I have a different take on it oldman.

The common goal is to get the NON-UNION CONTRACTORS to open their pocketbooks so that ALL construction electricians can make a decent living.
then your goal should ultimately be to get the non-union contractors customers to open their pocketbooks and to also give the non-union contractors incentive to go union...

however, the ideas put forth by some visitors today, are a big part of the reason that some contractors hesitate/refuse to go union...

people will tend to do things that benefit them...you went union for higher wages, better benefits, etc...things that benefit you...

if you want contractors to become signatory and hire you, show them how it benefits them...

to many guys/gals in the trade (Kons, rats, shoppies, hallies) are, and always will be, myopic...

change hearts and minds, and actions will follow...
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Old 12-13-2008, 11:26 PM   #23
 
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well said...remember, labor and contractors both need eachother and should be on the same team...the common goal is to get the customer to open their pocketbooks...
I agree oldman,

I've always wanted to see the contractors make money. I'm happy with the crumbs.

Also understand all too well about the customer. Without them we have nothing to talk about.
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Old 12-13-2008, 11:33 PM   #24
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I agree oldman,

I've always wanted to see the contractors make money. I'm happy with the crumbs.

Also understand all too well about the customer. Without them we have nothing to talk about.
add to that, education of the electrician, or lack thereof...i've seen countless union men get their license and go out on their own....only to bill the customer less than their total package was when they were working for someone else...for some reason, they were worth $50 in the pocket working for someone else (plus benefits, pension, annuity, etc)...but don't feel worth that much when they go on their own...so they bill the customer $60/hr...and after paying all their overhead and other costs, pay themselves $20/hr... non-union guys who go out on their own are just as bad, if not worse...

that would raise the bar dramatically...
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Old 12-14-2008, 01:06 AM   #25
 
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add to that, education of the electrician, or lack thereof...i've seen countless union men get their license and go out on their own....only to bill the customer less than their total package was when they were working for someone else...for some reason, they were worth $50 in the pocket working for someone else (plus benefits, pension, annuity, etc)...but don't feel worth that much when they go on their own...so they bill the customer $60/hr...and after paying all their overhead and other costs, pay themselves $20/hr... non-union guys who go out on their own are just as bad, if not worse...

that would raise the bar dramatically...
That's a very good point you bring up OldMan.

I've never understood why anyone with the talent and mechanical aptitude it takes to be a good JIW(Journeyman Inside Wireman), would ever undercut himself in a bid for work.

"All we have to sell is our labor", said an old wise JIW that I was fortunate enough to have worked under during my apprenticeship.

The pride that a true IBEW Electrician and brother feels cannot be measured. It can only be observed and admired by the management that runs most of the industrial and large commercial jobs that are ongoing in this great country of ours.

We can hang together or we will surely hang apart!
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Old 12-14-2008, 01:18 AM   #26
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That's a very good point you bring up OldMan.

I've never understood why anyone with the talent and mechanical aptitude it takes to be a good JIW(Journeyman Inside Wireman), would ever undercut himself in a bid for work.

"All we have to sell is our labor", said an old wise JIW that I was fortunate enough to have worked under during my apprenticeship.

The pride that a true IBEW Electrician and brother feels cannot be measured. It can only be observed and admired by the management that runs most of the industrial and large commercial jobs that are ongoing in this great country of ours.

We can hang together or we will surely hang apart!
actually, the thought that 'all you have to sell is our labor' is part of the problem...what you really are selling is your knowledge, experience and abilities...labor is cheap...the other stuff is expensive...the physical act of electrical work can be done by a monkey...the knowing when, where, how and why is what's worth money...

i've always lived by the saying of a JW from local 3, that my father was taught when he was an apprentice, and he taught me...

"you don't pay me for what I do, you pay me for what I know"

why do you think guys go out on their own and whore themselves for pennies on the dollar?
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Old 12-14-2008, 09:43 AM   #27
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Originally Posted by oldman View Post
then your goal should ultimately be to get the non-union contractors customers to open their pocketbooks and to also give the non-union contractors incentive to go union...

however, the ideas put forth by some visitors today, are a big part of the reason that some contractors hesitate/refuse to go union...

people will tend to do things that benefit them...you went union for higher wages, better benefits, etc...things that benefit you...

if you want contractors to become signatory and hire you, show them how it benefits them...

to many guys/gals in the trade (Kons, rats, shoppies, hallies) are, and always will be, myopic...

change hearts and minds, and actions will follow...
why do you keep saying things like this oldman? We bid for jobs just like the non-union shops do. In fact, we bid against the non-union shops. There are a few places I know that will accept union only bids (another arguing point altogether. they do this because they believe it is in their best interest, and it typically is) but in general, we don;t get to bid higher and get accepted because we are union. Why do you folks keep saying we need to convince the customer to spend more so you can be union? We don;t ask for that. We provide a value that apparently the non-union shops have trouble providing, even with their lower wages/bene packages.

and to the reasons to go union:

a ready supply of skilled labor that understands the ebb and flow of work and have set up a situation where we understand layoffs and returning to the hall.

a work force that (in my opinion) is provided the best training provided by any source for this trade

a work force that understands that you have to make money so we can make money.

a workforce that knows the work rules when they show up for the job, just like the EC knows the rules. It makes it easier for both of us.

a source to grieve problems for both sides

a workforce that doesn't work slow (I know, it does happen with some electricians with a poor moral and ethical base) just because they know when this work is done, layoff is tomorrow.

need more or is that enough?
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Old 12-14-2008, 10:37 AM   #28
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... and to the reasons to go union:
... need more or is that enough?
The problems (from both ends) are not when the model is operating as designed and intended to. It works (or works well enough) that it is emulated by the more enlightened merit shops. With few exceptions these have very good apprentice and JM training, and safety, and pay wages and benefits equal to and often better than PW or the LU contract. They have to, right?

A large number of merit shop electricians are genuinely happy with that arrangement. They *like* having that continuing relationship with one EC and the GC's, PM's and other trades that show up on their jobs.

The smaller EC's who don't (can't really) offer any benefits even if they can pay decent enough wages are another discussion and (individually at least) are not a threat to any of the larger EC's - merit or union. If anything, having these guys around as an example of how NOT to operate may be the best promotion effort out there to mitivate GC's and owners to use the well run EC's (again union -or- merit).

If the goal is truly about good wages, benefits and security of those for electrical workers (as opposed to f'rinstance H&W donations) ...
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Old 12-14-2008, 10:56 AM   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oldman View Post
then your goal should ultimately be to get the non-union contractors customers to open their pocketbooks and to also give the non-union contractors incentive to go union...

however, the ideas put forth by some visitors today, are a big part of the reason that some contractors hesitate/refuse to go union...
in the past 6 months we have bid projects both open and prevailing wage/union scale...prices have been about 25% higher for our PW scale..granted we haven't changed the man hours, so it's simply the higher costs...and in the past 6 months these projects (which we didn't get any of) were for developers who shuddered at the thought of using union labor... (ftr- we can pass union projects off to a friends shop should the opportunity arise right now)

these projects included a TI of 50,000 sq feet of medical space (doctors offices, dental offices, etc)

retail fitout in a mall (one of the few places you will still have union only bids around here are malls - and they are getting away from it)

10,000 sq foot dialysis clinic...

amongst other projects...the exact reasons the developers didn't want to do it union, i don't know...i have theories, just like you...but the facts are not known....

Quote:
Originally Posted by oldman View Post
people will tend to do things that benefit them...you went union for higher wages, better benefits, etc...things that benefit you...

if you want contractors to become signatory and hire you, show them how it benefits them...
Quote:
Originally Posted by nap View Post
why do you keep saying things like this oldman?
i say things like this to facilitate discussions of ideas and get other viewpoints out there like

Quote:
Originally Posted by nap View Post
and to the reasons to go union:

a ready supply of skilled labor that understands the ebb and flow of work and have set up a situation where we understand layoffs and returning to the hall.

a work force that (in my opinion) is provided the best training provided by any source for this trade

a work force that understands that you have to make money so we can make money.

a workforce that knows the work rules when they show up for the job, just like the EC knows the rules. It makes it easier for both of us.

a source to grieve problems for both sides

a workforce that doesn't work slow (I know, it does happen with some electricians with a poor moral and ethical base) just because they know when this work is done, layoff is tomorrow.

need more or is that enough?

Quote:
Originally Posted by oldman View Post
to many guys/gals in the trade (Kons, rats, shoppies, hallies) are, and always will be, myopic...

change hearts and minds, and actions will follow...
Quote:
Originally Posted by nap View Post
We bid for jobs just like the non-union shops do. In fact, we bid against the non-union shops. There are a few places I know that will accept union only bids (another arguing point altogether. they do this because they believe it is in their best interest, and it typically is) but in general, we don;t get to bid higher and get accepted because we are union. Why do you folks keep saying we need to convince the customer to spend more so you can be union? We don;t ask for that. We provide a value that apparently the non-union shops have trouble providing, even with their lower wages/bene packages.
in NJ there is not much that is bid both union and non...save government work which is prevailing wage (and actually beneficial to do union)

large work (i mean LARGE work) is owned by the unions...not too many open shops in NJ large enough to man up a 100 man commercial/industrial project (i honestly don't know of any - though Celtic will likely come across with one or more)....

however, there are some extremely LARGE open shops around the country...Town & Country/Faith Technologies out of Wisconsin comes to mind...How did they manage to become a $200mil/yr open shop? there are others as well..

and lastly, don't take what i write as what i think...these discussions/debates are good for the general readership of this site...there are more people reading than interacting...and maybe giving them this information will help them decide what path they wish to follow in their life...
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Old 12-14-2008, 06:31 PM   #30
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oldman I have been watching your posts for a while and i find you to be a real ballbuster! your comments do "facilitate" (in your own words) a "stimulating" discussion. LOL............Keep it up. ruffle as many feathers as you can and things will stay interesting!!!!!!!
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Old 03-02-2009, 11:15 AM   #31
 
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You can take a job for anybody you want, but there are penalties.

I have worked with several DIE HARD union members, FIGHT FOR THE BROTHERHOOD, these guys moved into management at a large contractors and what a bunch of hard asses they became. Treating the men poorly. I never understand how seemingly good people can flip so drastically.


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Its called power. I have always said many foreman would take a cut in pay to be foreman just to have the power and position
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Old 04-13-2009, 01:27 PM   #32
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Any members from LU 59?
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Old 04-13-2009, 01:49 PM   #33
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and to the reasons to go union:

a ready supply of skilled labor
This is not always true, I have turned down bidding some jobs for the simple reason, The hall can not supply the men.
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Old 06-29-2009, 10:02 PM   #34
 
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IBEW Local #136, Birmingham, Alabama.

There are bad people everywhere. I treat people with respect and treat them like an adult. If they screw me, then I drop the hammer. However, I have to live with myself and treating someone like a disposable razor is not good for anyone, it says more about you, than the person getting the shaft. I have run large electrical jobs and brought them in, on time and under budget, without treating the men like crap. The key is to start with good men, who know a good deal when they have one, and they will give you 8-4-8 and keep it straight. When I have paid a guy an hour or two here and there for a doctor's appointment or let him go an hour early to pick up his kid from school, he was the hardest working guy on the job, the next week.....
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Old 09-14-2009, 12:24 AM   #35
 
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guess this thread is pretty much dead...

l.u. 46 seattle, 3rd year apprentice but only 3k hrs. so far due to 3 month injury loss (not L&I, thank you) then layoff.

around 700 on the books in the hall and 150 in the jatc...bleak picture; I'll be starting my 3rd year classes in December and not sure when I'll ever get my next pay raise at 3500 hrs. only worked 4 months so far in 2009...

the books have been taking 4-5 months to move thru but my last call was only 4 months (foreman/journeyman had no clue why they would lay me off; was making 55% JW rate and was running my own project every day with almost no supervision).

If this is what union work is then I'm probably just going to get my admin's license and go out on my own when out of work; not being allowed to work or find employment and collecting less than subsistence from the govt. is not my idear of living.
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Old 09-14-2009, 01:37 PM   #36
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heywood:

What do you mean you are not allowed to find work?

Laid off I'd find something.


I cannot speak for your area but in the other Washington layoff are rare, even in slow times there is government work.

Was on the news yesterday the largest government building project since the Pentagon broke ground on Friday. Homeland Security at the old nut hut St. Elizabeth.
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Old 09-14-2009, 02:55 PM   #37
 
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heywood:
I cannot speak for your area but in the other Washington layoff are rare, even in slow times there is government work.

Was on the news yesterday the largest government building project since the Pentagon broke ground on Friday. Homeland Security at the old nut hut St. Elizabeth.
strangely enough, even with around a dozen cranes in the sky around here there still isn't any work; and as far as government projects in the Seattle area most of that is in Bremerton/Bangor and it never seems to happen that those projects get off the ground...guys have been holding their breath for 1.5 years for those projects to man up.
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Old 09-14-2009, 03:25 PM   #38
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strangely enough, even with around a dozen cranes in the sky around here there still isn't any work; and as far as government projects in the Seattle area most of that is in Bremerton/Bangor and it never seems to happen that those projects get off the ground...guys have been holding their breath for 1.5 years for those projects to man up.

What about finding your own job?
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Old 09-14-2009, 03:29 PM   #39
 
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well...I could either collect unemployment or go hunting for a job for a few months...I'm not a JW, so I can't just go out with my own license and get work and the work picture isn't exactly rosy around here besides construction.
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Old 09-14-2009, 04:13 PM   #40
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well...I could either collect unemployment or go hunting for a job for a few months...I'm not a JW, so I can't just go out with my own license and get work and the work picture isn't exactly rosy around here besides construction.

I would think not working would be depressing. In our last recession, I found a Davis Bacon job, I knew friends that worked two jobs others took jobs in facility management. Two things sitting around is not good mentally and time goes faster if you are working.
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