Electrician Talk banner
1 - 9 of 9 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
2 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have been working in the electrical field for a little under a year with both residential and commercial job experience. It is a field I have loved ever since a child but haven't put 2 and 2 together as a career passion until 21 years of age haha. With that being said, i have never taken any high school or vocational classes in electrical. Anyways, I am a driven worker and have learned quite a bit (still ALOT to learn) in this time.

Recently I have decided to try for the IBEW apprentice program and while at the hall. I was offered an opportunity in what is called the ce/cw program. At first it sounded like a nice jump start in the right direction and would lead me closer to my goal of being accepted into the apprenticeship program. I was told I would have benefits and offered classes already paid for through my wages and that it would help tremendously.

I started thinking this seems all too easy, so I did some research on this ce/cw program. All I have read is negative feedback. Jw's saying that it screws people out of jobs and that they are the runt pee on workers and all are just lazy pieces of ****. The jw's hate them and most union members want nothing to do with them. Then I hear that they aren't fully union members and that the program can only get you soo far and you can never reach journeyman status going that route. Also that they are used to pick up garbage and just be tool grabbers so to speak. Also the health benefits aren't even close to regular and apprentice members. I know you start off somewhere but I want to learn and be apart of this great brotherhood and work my ass off. To me, it almost seems like the this is a union version of a temp agency.

I just want to hear from a union workers perspective and and honest opinion because I'm not just trying to do this temporarily. I want to seriously make this a career and eventually climb to the journeyman ranking so to speak. So should i join this program and then apply for apprenticeship or once your in ce/cw, apprenticeship is now voided. Or should i just wait and keep truing for apprenticeship acceptance and go that route. I am employed currently with a non union shop so im still in the fieAny input would be greatly appreciated and how I should go about doing this and past experiences.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,154 Posts
In our area we have "R" workers in lieu of the CE/CW. This program was started a long time ago to help union contractors compete in the residential market, except no union contractors compete in the residential market in this area. So "R" workers work side by side with "A" journeymen at a lower scale.

Many jobs are still "A" journeymen only.

In the beginning "R" workers were really looked down on, trashed and often worse by SOME "A" journeymen. It was difficult to impossible for "R" men to get into the "A" program back in the 60's and 70's. Today it is much better in our local, there is plenty of work and our local is growing, many "R" workers are organized in from open shops, do an upgrade program and test in as "A" journeymen.

I tried getting in the IBEW apprenticeship a few times and never made it, I was told I was not really electrician material.

So I worked open shop until the union had a need for men. I was called at home and asked to join I worked "R" for one year and was allowed to test in for the "A", mainly because the BA's secretary and later his wife liked me for some reason. At the time I had 5 master licenses and the test was very easy.

During that first year I had "A" men refuse to work with me, complain to the hall about me, and give me real SH*T at times. Even after I made it into the "A" I caught crap. Funny thing is 3 of the men that really busted my b*lls for not being a real "A" man now own open shops.

So my answer if handled right it can help the IBEW, but I doubt that will happen in most locals.

Work open shop and keep trying to get an apprenticeship, bypass the CE/CW if for no other reason that you do not want to be crapped on.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,437 Posts
From what I see, it's not that bad of a gig, your gonna have your good guys and bad guys everywhere. The one bad thing is that you can't be on a state or government job. We take in cw's and ce's if they prove themselves so if you do enter the program ask the hall if there's private work going on and if there is then you can always do it and show the guys your worthy and you might get some recommendations for entering the apprenticeship. If you decide to do it, be prepared for grief though. If you pull your weight, you might not hear any.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
From what I see, it's not that bad of a gig, your gonna have your good guys and bad guys everywhere. The one bad thing is that you can't be on a state or government job. We take in cw's and ce's if they prove themselves so if you do enter the program ask the hall if there's private work going on and if there is then you can always do it and show the guys your worthy and you might get some recommendations for entering the apprenticeship. If you decide to do it, be prepared for grief though. If you pull your weight, you might not hear any.
Are they actually union members or no. What about benefits and such. I'm honestly just thinking about bypassing and just trying to go about it the harder way (apprentice). It would make it that much more satisfying and rewarding
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,154 Posts
Members no, benefits yes.
The "R" workers in our area are members, have full health benefits but limited retirement. Pay the same dues but I think the working dues are are at a lower percentage, but I could be wrong.


And like most topics here how the CE/CW's are treated (pay, benefits and how members look at them) is a local by local issue.

I am not sure how a local goes from all "A" to having a CE/CW program.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,471 Posts
The "R" workers in our area are members, have full health benefits but limited retirement. Pay the same dues but I think the working dues are are at a lower percentage, but I could be wrong.

And like most topics here how the CE/CW's are treated (pay, benefits and how members look at them) is a local by local issue.

I am not sure how a local goes from all "A" to having a CE/CW program.
That makes sense that it's a local issue.
It's been a long time so I can't remember exactly what the benefits package was, but I did a short time in the CE/CW program in local 498, and I do remember being disappointed with the fact that I would not be a member.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,437 Posts
The harder way is the ce, cw program first off and your not in the union. As for the benefits, I don't think you get pension or annuity, don't quote me in that though. Screw that program. You could potentially turn out as a JW before you ever get into the apprenticeship coming from being a cw.
 
1 - 9 of 9 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top