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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello, I am a long time lurker on this forum. I recently Passed the aptitude test and interview for the local 353 a few months back and I am on the "Successful candidate list."

While I am very grateful for the opportunity, I have many concerns.

Is it true the the work is incredibly unstable? Is it true that you can (and likely will be) laid off for 6 months to a year at times?

Is it even worth the venture? or should I look into something else before I waste my time waiting around for a call? I read a lot of negativity on the internet which I try to take with a grain of salt. I do however, feel very uneasy about the prospect of wasting years of my life on something unsustainable.

I am looking for somebody that can give me the honest truth, without personal bias.

Thanks in advance for your time,

MKF7
 

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The trades, all of them, swing with the economy... unionized or not.

Right now, Trump is vectoring Big Bucks into Big Construction.

That's why Cat is showing a record order book. It's THE bell weather for heavy construction.

Tariffs are overwhelmingly to the advantage of the blue collar guy.

Hence why every union since the beginning favors tariffs.

By bringing Big Business back to America, Trump figures to cause no end of brand new factories to be built. Red China will be crying.

Those factories will, in almost every case, be built with union labor.

Your biggest hang-up is that virtually everyone wants to join the union. (IBEW)

While there are only so many slots at your Local. It always has to balance between having enough talent for the market and having too many brothers to the point that they are sitting at the hall too often and too long.

Just keep in mind that when times are good, the pay checks are crazy-good... to be followed by lean times. What gets blue collar guys in trouble is their assumption that hot times and their skill set will just go on forever. A building boom is just that. Think of the Alaskan pipeline project. You can pull up videos on the Internet. The guys back then were making insane amounts of money... like they were brain surgeons! Most of the guys blew their pay... just let it shoot through their fingers. These are the kind of guys that spread the word that pay is unreliable!

When the good times roll, pack your money away like King Midas! Then you have options when things slow down.

As for right now: the indications are that a major building boom is right upon us. Pray for more tariffs.
 

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@telsa, keep in mind local 353 is in Canada so Trump’s decisions have no effect on our work.
@MKF7, that local is very busy right now and has been for more than 10 years. The guys who don’t work all year don’t want to. Getting in is difficult but once your in, you will and can work all year, especially as an apprentice. I was told the same thing as you when I first got in about not having work all year. I have never been out of work.

Good luck
 

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No one knows and no one can give you a factual answer, certainly not one without personal bias.

No job is stable. But most IBEW locals will have all of the apprentices working. What's the most you will lose? You will make lots of money and get the best electrical training for free.

Even during my local's worst years in which there were 600+ members out of work and the waiting list was 2 years, the other 3,000+ of us worked solid. Be one of those guys by showing ambition.
 

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48 years ago while pumping gas a friend called me and told me they were hiring helpers to unload trucks and move material for a large electrical contractor. My boss at the time offered me a 25¢ an hour to stay and told me how if I went into construction I would be working 6 months out of a year and sitting the other 6. I knew it was a gamble but I took it as I did not care for working full time on cars.

48 years later I have missed maybe a week and during that week I did one of the few side jobs I have completed in all my years doing this work.

It took me 8 years to get into the union which I use to see as lost benefits and retirement but since the EX got my retirement in the divorce there is no loss there.

My point is, take the leap.
 

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@telsa, keep in mind local 353 is in Canada so Trump’s decisions have no effect on our work.
@MKF7, that local is very busy right now and has been for more than 10 years. The guys who don’t work all year don’t want to. Getting in is difficult but once your in, you will and can work all year, especially as an apprentice. I was told the same thing as you when I first got in about not having work all year. I have never been out of work.

Good luck
When America does well America Lite to the north usually benefits.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks everyone for taking the time. Put a smile on my face reading this as it has been weighing on my mind heavy !

thanks again !
 
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