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I have some big news for this week- I had an interview with LU520 Austin on Monday, my wife and I closed on our new house (first house for us) on Tuesday, and later that afternoon I was told that I am at the front of the list for new applicants at the union. They said I might be called into work any day now! I will have to get my schedule at my current job (bicycle mechanic) re-arranged quickly because this is more important.

I have not gotten the opportunity to ask how my new employment actually works. I am still confused about questions like:

1. Who actually pays me, the Union or the company with whom I am working? Who writes my paycheck?

2. How are taxes handled? Are those taken out of my paycheck? Am I considered self-employed? When I get a W2 next year, will it be from the Union or from the various companies with whom I worked over that year?

3. I am not going to cut ties entirely with my current employer so I can keep my discount on bike parts and work part-time there for the time being. If I am between assignments with the Union, how much time might I have to put in some hours at the bike shop before I get called up again? I don't want to over-promise on my availability and then have to take off on them when I promised to work. That will get old fast for them and for me.

4. When I get called in for an assignment, how much warning will I be given? Do they call the day before, same day, first thing in the morning or middle of the afternoon, etc? If I am waiting for work, I don't want to make big plans and be far away from home engaged in a long ride or on a hot date with my wife, so how far ahead can I make plans.

5. I have my boots and a few tools from home, but I was told that all I will need at first is some good boots. I want to start building my pro tool kit a little bit at a time. What tools should I invest in first?
 

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I have some big news for this week- I had an interview with LU520 Austin on Monday, my wife and I closed on our new house (first house for us) on Tuesday, and later that afternoon I was told that I am at the front of the list for new applicants at the union. They said I might be called into work any day now! I will have to get my schedule at my current job (bicycle mechanic) re-arranged quickly because this is more important.

I have not gotten the opportunity to ask how my new employment actually works. I am still confused about questions like:

1. Who actually pays me, the Union or the company with whom I am working? Who writes my paycheck?

2. How are taxes handled? Are those taken out of my paycheck? Am I considered self-employed? When I get a W2 next year, will it be from the Union or from the various companies with whom I worked over that year?

3. I am not going to cut ties entirely with my current employer so I can keep my discount on bike parts and work part-time there for the time being. If I am between assignments with the Union, how much time might I have to put in some hours at the bike shop before I get called up again? I don't want to over-promise on my availability and then have to take off on them when I promised to work. That will get old fast for them and for me.

4. When I get called in for an assignment, how much warning will I be given? Do they call the day before, same day, first thing in the morning or middle of the afternoon, etc? If I am waiting for work, I don't want to make big plans and be far away from home engaged in a long ride or on a hot date with my wife, so how far ahead can I make plans.

5. I have my boots and a few tools from home, but I was told that all I will need at first is some good boots. I want to start building my pro tool kit a little bit at a time. What tools should I invest in first?
1. The company you get placed with pays you

2. Your taxes are taken out of your check like any other job. You will fill out a W4 at each company that you work for and get a W2 from each.

3. Region dependent. Where I'm from it's from a few days to a few weeks for apprentices when you get laid off... but you better be ready to go back when they call you.

4. Typically the day before they will let you know. You probably wont get sent out in the middle of the day.

5. Klein brand tools are always a good bet. Try to get all made in usa tools. You will defintly want:
lineman pliers (make sure you get kleins)
wire strippers that go up to 10 awg
Channellocks at least 420's (channel lock brand is preferred)
screwdrivers - 1/4" bladed, #2 philips, and a 5/16 beater screwdriver to start
tape measure or folding rule
9" level
utility knife
 
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