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I went from open shop to Union shop back in 1977.
Went from making $6.50 per hour with no benefits, to $4.03 with benefits.

Then 14 years later went to open shop electrical maintenance.
 

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36th year apprentice & Floor Sweeper
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I was never technically an apprentice. I did however “pursue a course that will eventually lead to a change of classification”. I sat next to apprentices. :LOL:
 
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Union as in IBEW? or some other union? You really have to see what each is offering - just like with open shops. Unions tend to do better on the bennies and pension aspects.

I initially left the IBEW because an open shop was offering me a better deal overall. My current union does even better. YMMV.
 

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Working With the Tools
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Seriously thinking about it. Please tell me your story.
I run my own open shop... but I have friends (Yes... they are often competitors too :) ) who are making $50.00 an hour with benefits. Does your open shop offer you any benefits?
 

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Seriously thinking about it. Please tell me your story.
Circa 1982. Was working for an ABC shop, crappy work, crappy pay was making $7:10 per hour as a second year.
I jumped into a JATC program, making 10:40 per hour, that was like making OT every hour.
The work was hard but a better environment, the tools were new and modern,
School went from an open discussion, grabasss to a very serious military school environment.
For me and my family, it was a good decision
 

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309A apprentice
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I work in a non union shop as 5th year (am in 3rd level school now) and am making 25 bucks in rural Ontario with no benefits or anything so I figure a union or the IBEW would probably be better than this. Also pretty well always working 55-60 hour weeks so very little time off. Just wondering what else is out there.
 

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Sounds like you have your time in and just have school left. IMHO would be wise to finish and get signed off before you part ways. Its not uncommon to have a setback on your hours when you change employers.

You need to look specifically at the available offerings in areas you're willing to work. Things vary a lot by region and industry. In my experience, shift-work breaks the mon-fri cycle and usually end up with more time-off overall.

In my IBEW time in BC (construction)... up to 40hrs/week and no OT is normal. Most jobs were the reduced-rate 'residential' pay, and there were extra payroll deductions for the 'market recovery' fund. (Every IBEW local seems to have their own regime.) Bennies were ok.
 

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Industrial Maintenance Electrician
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I work in a non union shop as 5th year (am in 3rd level school now) and am making 25 bucks in rural Ontario with no benefits or anything so I figure a union or the IBEW would probably be better than this. Also pretty well always working 55-60 hour weeks so very little time off. Just wondering what else is out there.
IBEW is great if you like to work in the city. Unless there is a contractor near you that is a union shop, or you want to move to the city aka GTA, work is going to be scarce up north. I live about a 1 1/2hr north from the GTA and there was rarely work close to home. I traveled for 4 hours a day (traffic is horrendous), to work for 8 hours for 7 years. Eventually left for a lower paying job but I now travel 1hr a day and I have way less stress.

There is always opportunities and you can get lucky, that is just my experience with the union.
 

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3rd year electrical apprentice
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Union as in IBEW? or some other union? You really have to see what each is offering - just like with open shops. Unions tend to do better on the bennies and pension aspects.

I initially left the IBEW because an open shop was offering me a better deal overall. My current union does even better. YMMV.
We had IBEW come in and visit us at trade school, the two guys they sent turned me off really quickly. One guy talked about all the paid time off he received while going through a divorce and the other one said the worst thing we can do on a job is work hard. He said his reasoning for that opinion is the job gets done faster the employer makes more money then they don’t need you after and lay you off. Having worked on our family farm most of my life I could not share those values regarding work ethic.
Working non union the ones that put in a reasonable effort and are always on time stay hired and get generous raises. My wife works a unionized government job and there’s one coworker that’s always scheming how to milk the system, falling at work where no one can witness it and going off on workers compensation. Nothing they can do because she’s protected by the union and she has no problems telling people that.
 
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