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Just checking out the site,it seems very useful.I had a question and was hoping that somebody could help me out.I am a non union journeyman electrician that works for a very busy shop the wages are not as high as union wages but I get by.I was met by a membership development union member today.He was trying to convince me that joining the union would be better for me and my family.I just wondering if anybody had any advice. Thanks in advance for your responses.
 

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I prefer working Union maybe because the 2 Non-Union company's that I have worked for were a complete joke to work for. I know the guy's that own there own company's sometimes can make more money, but I just don't want the head ache of chasing down work and then chasing down my money. As far as working for someone around here you can make more money working Union.
 

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You may not be getting the $, but your getting the hours right? Local 440 is a very weak local. Not the locals fault, it's the area it's in. These usually is work in power plants and hospitals, things like that. The majority (like 98%) of your commercial and residential work is being done non-union. I've see very large prevailing wage projects being done non-union. And yes, they were following the rules.

You will probably miss out on a retirement package if you stay where you are, but that could be funded by yourself. Your health insurance would be cheaper for you where you are now.

Being in Fontucky though, you can go 70 miles in any direction and find work.

Are you an apprentice? State Certified?
 

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If you want to join, join. Just do it based on information collected by you and not what the union recruiter says. Those guys will tell you anything.
 

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Fried Bologna um um good!
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Welcome to the forum! If I had a well paying job in this economy I would be happy where I am. Wait I work for myself.....it pays well........dang looks like Im stuck being an electrician :jester:.For the long term do you see this company staying in business and a chance to make more as you advance in the company? Maybe running crews or whole jobs etc?
 

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Fried Bologna um um good!
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I prefer working Union maybe because the 2 Non-Union company's that I have worked for were a complete joke to work for. I know the guy's that own there own company's sometimes can make more money, but I just don't want the head ache of chasing down work and then chasing down my money. As far as working for someone around here you can make more money working Union.

So whats the pay range low to high for a washed up laid off x dark side electrician in the union here Wil. Do tell!!!!!:laughing: Just kidding(about the laughing part that is:)) For real what is the range and what are the benefits worth. Ive heard the work was slim for some even in good times.
Granted I could of been told wrong. I am curious though. And no I dont want to join you!:) But being a brother I know I would be welcomed with open arms!
 

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So whats the pay range low to high for a washed up laid off x dark side electrician in the union here Wil. Do tell!!!!!:laughing: Just kidding(about the laughing part that is:)) For real what is the range and what are the benefits worth. Ive heard the work was slim for some even in good times.
Granted I could of been told wrong. I am curious though. And no I dont want to join you!:) But being a brother I know I would be welcomed with open arms!
PM sent jwjrw so that this thread doesn't turn into Union verse Non-union.:thumbsup:
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thanks for the replies.I'm state certified.The company I work for is small (3 electricians)but busy 40hrs a week.I'm trying to think more long term,I don't see much advancement in my current company.The recruiter told me that the only reason electricians in the union where not working is because they choose to not work or commute to other counties.I have no problem commuting to surrounding counties for work.I just don't want to join the union and work a few months and then be off for a month.I don't know the proper way to research all of this.So I figured I would try to get it straight from members of the union and not a recruiter.
 

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If you are working 40 hours and getting by, hang tight. Continue your education; think about your future in the industry. With more experience and time you just may be able to go it alone...if that is what you really want to do. However, there is nothing wrong with being loyal to a company that works you and treats you as you want to be treated.:thumbsup:
 

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Thanks for the replies.I'm state certified.The company I work for is small (3 electricians)but busy 40hrs a week.I'm trying to think more long term,I don't see much advancement in my current company.The recruiter told me that the only reason electricians in the union where not working is because they choose to not work or commute to other counties.I have no problem commuting to surrounding counties for work.I just don't want to join the union and work a few months and then be off for a month.I don't know the proper way to research all of this.So I figured I would try to get it straight from members of the union and not a recruiter.
There is almost no calls for work in LA, Orange, Riverside, San Berdo, & San Diego locals. If you are willing to work, plain and simple, if your a member of one of those locals, it ain't there. That big ass shopping center just to the west of you in Cucamonga of the 15 and Foothill, put a lot of money in the non-union sparkies pockets.

When times are great, the IE locals are fair at best.

Locals 440, 477, 569, 441, and 11 all have "job lines", you can call and see what kind of work is available.

I would keep your present employement at this time. Your job right now will put food in your mouth, not a promise.
 

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Find out how many are on book one. Then call in to the jobs hotline for a week. That'll either convince you or scare you.
 

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Electrical Guy
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Mr.C says go west but not all the way to californicate, there is gold in them there hills and they dont use picks and hand shovels no more.
 

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I would like to thank all who made a post,wow it has been civil.First answer to the question is in Southern California times are as hard as I have ever seen for a union journeyman wireman.Most are going 4-6 months between jobs.If you search large energy projects in Southern California and dig you will find Billions of dollars appropiated for jobs starting within the next 2-4 months through the next 5 years.Full employment for most locals in the area. From what I have witnessed union scales are only $3-$7 an hour on the check but $12-$25 on top in benefits more than the nonunion contractors. It is your life and we all wish you well in whatever you decide to do but I will offer to help if you ask for help to go union.I only live a couple three miles down the road in Colton.
 

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I would like to thank all who made a post,wow it has been civil.First answer to the question is in Southern California times are as hard as I have ever seen for a union journeyman wireman.Most are going 4-6 months between jobs.If you search large energy projects in Southern California and dig you will find Billions of dollars appropiated for jobs starting within the next 2-4 months through the next 5 years.Full employment for most locals in the area. From what I have witnessed union scales are only $3-$7 an hour on the check but $12-$25 on top in benefits more than the nonunion contractors. It is your life and we all wish you well in whatever you decide to do but I will offer to help if you ask for help to go union.I only live a couple three miles down the road in Colton.
Even in the awesome times, there was not full employment. My uncle tells me there has never been less than 500 guys on book 1 (LA) since the early '90s.

If you look at the prevailing wage data for SoCal, the benefits range from $12.59 to $21.18. Those numbers are misleading, because they include extra money for training and for management. Wages range from $36.65 to $39.54 in the locals. These are for any journeyman. A good journeyman in the non union sector will make $30-35 per hour. After you take out working dues and local/international dues, the wages are pretty competitive if you are any good. If you are just mediocre at best, the union wages will be better.

As far as the benefits go, take out the health portion in the numbers above, because, health insurance is most likely cheaper in the non-union sector. It depends. Pensions range from $4.35 to $11.47 per hour. Not bad, but not guaranteed.

Weigh all your options.
 

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Even in the awesome times, there was not full employment. My uncle tells me there has never been less than 500 guys on book 1 (LA) since the early '90s.

Thank you for the informative post.In 2004 the numbers on book1 in 11 hovered in the 400-500 but the calls were going deep into 2 and sometimes unfilled.During this time frame I remember the top 30 or so had first signed the book in 1999-2001
 
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