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Old 08-14-2011, 04:36 PM   #1
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Default if I get into a union is it better than working not for 1

I wanna know if working for a union is better than not working in 1 ? Should I get into a union?
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Old 08-14-2011, 04:45 PM   #2
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3 2 1

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Old 08-14-2011, 04:49 PM   #3
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Man, THIS is a loaded question. Union electrical workers are gonna tell you by all means, and non-union electricians are gonna tell ya Unions are a huge scam. This thread could get heated..

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Old 08-14-2011, 05:36 PM   #4
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Go with whatever will keep you working, and whatever will allow you advance in the industry. This is not the kind of economy where you can grow complacent whichever you choose.

Non-union should be easier to get into, you can apply to the union while you work and gain experience.
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Old 08-14-2011, 05:38 PM   #5
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Welcome to the forum. I would do what you feel comfortable with. Unions are having a tough time now as are many other shops. There is good and bad both ways.
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Old 08-14-2011, 05:50 PM   #6
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There are lots of pros and cons to both. Depends on how much work is in your area, and if you are willing to travel if there is no work. Many union guys are at home while usually non union guys work more often. If you have a good year you can do pretty well in the union though. There are also some non union shops you can do very well at too. It depends on the type work you want to do there are so many different things we can do in this trade. I like controls commercial and industrial. I don't mind construction but I prefer maintenance. There are lots of things to consider. In the union you will likely do big construction jobs and be limited to certain duties. In non union with a little smaller jobs you can get to work on a bigger variety of tasks. Welcome to the trade... Assuming you are just starting out.
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Old 08-14-2011, 05:58 PM   #7
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Pacman, since your in LA I will let you know that the work situation is pretty bleak.

If you join the Union, your 1st 5 years will be tough to get the hours. They will promise you the world, but the percentage of work the Union owns is small. You will most likely work on refineries, hospitals and heavy industrial type projects. These are projects that are paid for by tax money, so there will be no real rush to get them done and they can stretch for great amount of times to keep you busy. Your next 5 years when you are required to pay back your education, will be tough.

The old argument of the Union apprenticeship is top notch may not be true any longer. Since probably 90% of the permitted electrical work in LA county is being done non-union, I imagine the non-union apprenticeship education has risen.

Right now there are over 1000 on LA's book, plus probably another 1000 underemployed, plus probably another 1000 sitting at home waiting for their contractor to call them.

If you are unemployed in the Union, you can sit at home and do nothing, advertize on CL and bring down the trade, or travel. If you are non-union, you can go out and solicit your own work and possibly be unemployed for a shorter distance of time.

Some are going to argue that the Union has the best training, pension, and healthcare.

While at one point that may have been true. Look at it with open eyes.
Training - like I said before, maybe the non-union training is up to par now.
Pension - How do you know it will be there in 40 years? You will be throwing a lot of your hard earned money into that fund and what guarantees are there? If you are going to make the risk, wouldn't it feel better for you to have control over the money?
Health Care - If you are working full time, you will paying over $15k a year out of your paycheck for medical. I think even with 7 kids and 3 wives, you should be able to better on your own.

Untimately, the choice is yours. Right now, the most important thing you want is that certified apprentice card in your wallet. How you get it and what you do with it, is up to you.
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Old 08-14-2011, 09:34 PM   #8
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All I can say is I've worked for 2 guys that started in the union neither of them is in any more Both are very successful contractors. So I say stay the hell away from union They had there time in history but it's long passed now

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Old 08-14-2011, 09:49 PM   #9
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Old 08-14-2011, 10:34 PM   #10
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Old 08-14-2011, 10:49 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MattMc
There are lots of pros and cons to both. Depends on how much work is in your area, and if you are willing to travel if there is no work. Many union guys are at home while usually non union guys work more often. If you have a good year you can do pretty well in the union though. There are also some non union shops you can do very well at too. It depends on the type work you want to do there are so many different things we can do in this trade. I like controls commercial and industrial. I don't mind construction but I prefer maintenance. There are lots of things to consider. In the union you will likely do big construction jobs and be limited to certain duties. In non union with a little smaller jobs you can get to work on a bigger variety of tasks. Welcome to the trade... Assuming you are just starting out.
Hey buddy yeah I'm just starting and thx good info
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Old 08-14-2011, 11:11 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by knowshorts
Pacman, since your in LA I will let you know that the work situation is pretty bleak.

If you join the Union, your 1st 5 years will be tough to get the hours. They will promise you the world, but the percentage of work the Union owns is small. You will most likely work on refineries, hospitals and heavy industrial type projects. These are projects that are paid for by tax money, so there will be no real rush to get them done and they can stretch for great amount of times to keep you busy. Your next 5 years when you are required to pay back your education, will be tough.

The old argument of the Union apprenticeship is top notch may not be true any longer. Since probably 90% of the permitted electrical work in LA county is being done non-union, I imagine the non-union apprenticeship education has risen.

Right now there are over 1000 on LA's book, plus probably another 1000 underemployed, plus probably another 1000 sitting at home waiting for their contractor to call them.

If you are unemployed in the Union, you can sit at home and do nothing, advertize on CL and bring down the trade, or travel. If you are non-union, you can go out and solicit your own work and possibly be unemployed for a shorter distance of time.

Some are going to argue that the Union has the best training, pension, and healthcare.

While at one point that may have been true. Look at it with open eyes.
Training - like I said before, maybe the non-union training is up to par now.
Pension - How do you know it will be there in 40 years? You will be throwing a lot of your hard earned money into that fund and what guarantees are there? If you are going to make the risk, wouldn't it feel better for you to have control over the money?
Health Care - If you are working full time, you will paying over $15k a year out of your paycheck for medical. I think even with 7 kids and 3 wives, you should be able to better on your own.

Untimately, the choice is yours. Right now, the most important thing you want is that certified apprentice card in your wallet. How you get it and what you do with it, is up to you.
Hey buddy so ture Idk its a hard to decide right now I'm a trainee..
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