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im having a heated debate with a friend. hes under the impression that if he joins 424 that he will be stigmatised.

he will not be able to work in Calgary, where he lives because he has union work on his resume.

I think he's wrong.

he's getting a lot of second hand information from guys. many not even members or former members. a lot of the info ive already proven wrong. but he still doesn't get it.

im curious the thoughts from guys in Alberta what they think.
 

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I never joined the union and most union guys I worked with lied about being union guys.

Companies know they will go back to the union job when a job comes up.. so why bother hiring them and training them? I wouldn't either.
 

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Most guys out here that I've met seem to not know much about the union and they don't want to either. They repeat whatever they hear through the grapevine and that's enough to convince them to stay away. I am not union myself but I'm not anti union either, though I did work for 353 in Toronto for a year and liked it. I have gathered that the IBEW pissed off a lot of Alberta electricians back in the 80s - some kind of strike or bargaining issue - and has been marginalised ever since. At least, that's what one grumpy old ex-member told me. I think he said that Canem used to be union. He also said all the big Calgary ECs are run by guys who got burned by 424 during that time and now are dead set against it.
 

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Estwing magic
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He's right. An open shop won't hire a union guy because he will go back to the union when they have work for him.

Lots of good open shops in Alberta.

VS is right about the union trouble in the 80's. Canem briefly changed to Menac, becoming a labour broker, to get around the union. They weren't the only ones. That's how the Merit Contractors Association got started and most Merit contractors are good to work for. Merit benefits are portable and you can look for your own job.

Unions don't do well in bust and boom economies and that's what Alberta is. Unions are too slow to react. A contractor isn't going to sit around and watch his company go down the tubes just to stay loyal to the union.
 

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Electrical Contractor
Trying to retire or at least slow down a bit, but life not cooperating
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I was in 424 in the 80s and it was pretty good UNTIL the right to work movement and Merit came to town.
AND the recessions kicked in.
The combination drove union rate down to $13 something an hour. I lasted a year and then moved.
There didn't seem to be any animosity between the members and the executive. But times were tough from 87 on so maybe that's when the guys got burned.
 

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spaghetti slayer
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That's too bad.

I had assumed that canadians were enlightened.

More enlightened and educated than americans anyways.

I guess we still have all the big brains down here south of the border.
 

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I never joined the union and most union guys I worked with lied about being union guys.

Companies know they will go back to the union job when a job comes up.. so why bother hiring them and training them? I wouldn't either.

Open shops train their guys? I thought they just gave a second year a set prints and told them to lay out the first years and the helpers.
 

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im having a heated debate with a friend. hes under the impression that if he joins 424 that he will be stigmatised.

he will not be able to work in Calgary, where he lives because he has union work on his resume.

I think he's wrong.

he's getting a lot of second hand information from guys. many not even members or former members. a lot of the info ive already proven wrong. but he still doesn't get it.

im curious the thoughts from guys in Alberta what they think.
While he may have issues with some non union companies, he is wrong that all of them would reject him because of his union history. I have worked for a few non union shops, and they didn't care about my work history. All they cared about was getting the work done. They needed help, and I needed a job, so it worked out for both sides. The contractors in his area will consider him if they need help.
 

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Not sure how easy it is to do in Canada, but in the states guys put the particular contractors they did projects for on their resume or application rather than their local # when applying to merit shops. Some hiring managers recognize that those other contractors are union shops, and some don't. It would not be unusual to have lots of contractors on your resume, since many tradesmen chase projects and not necessarily the company.
 

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I talked to a traveler from Detroit who had done some salting that travelers have an easier time getting hired on in open shops specifically because their work history will be all out of state and generally unrecognized.
 

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company i work for hires union guys all the time they dont care as long as you show up and try. In fact many union guys say its quite similar to union jobs with the saftey and how jobs are run.
 

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spaghetti slayer
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The distinction that must be made when working non-union is that many of the retirements are setup to benefit the contractor, like the retirement is dumped into the company's stock.

Then some top executive comes along, runs the company into the ground, then sells the company to his butt buddies for pennies on the dollar. So much for the help's hard work.
 
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