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Hello all. I've been a non-union electrician since beginning my apprenticeship in '94 - mostly hi-end residential and commercial, with a lot of service work. I recently signed up for the Union's RTW list, something a good friend has been trying to get me to do for years. Not much work here in Northern AZ so I'm going to Phoenix if I have to. I am hoping the Union is the answer for me. I just want to work! Anyway, just here to say hello.
 

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Hello all. I've been a non-union electrician since beginning my apprenticeship in '94 - mostly hi-end residential and commercial, with a lot of service work. I recently signed up for the Union's RTW list, something a good friend has been trying to get me to do for years. Not much work here in Northern AZ so I'm going to Phoenix if I have to. I am hoping the Union is the answer for me. I just want to work! Anyway, just here to say hello.


Welcome to the forum enjoy the fun...:thumbup::thumbup:
 

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Hello all. I've been a non-union electrician since beginning my apprenticeship in '94 - mostly hi-end residential and commercial, with a lot of service work. I recently signed up for the Union's RTW list, something a good friend has been trying to get me to do for years. Not much work here in Northern AZ so I'm going to Phoenix if I have to. I am hoping the Union is the answer for me. I just want to work! Anyway, just here to say hello.

Don't come down and become a union guy, you'll regret it. Several good companies down here who have a piece of the intel pie would be a god place to start. Delta & Jen Elec I know for sure. God luck in what ever you decide.
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
You know, I really have mixed feelings about the union thing, but I am pretty much fed up with not working. If I have to go to Phoenix, and the union can get me work, then it's hard not to go with that. I've always been a 'company man' and it has gotten me exactly squat. I will do what I have to do to get work right now. I just wish I didn't have to go there, or had gone there sooner. I have a good friend who is making bank right now and the union has done right by him. Frankly, I have yet to meet a union electrician who doesn't like it, which says something to me.

I have other contacts in Phoenix, and will call them if this doesn't work out, but the difference in pay is huge, something which makes a difference when you are looking at turning 50 with little to show for it. I've heard a lot of promises over the years, and I'm pretty damn cynical. Planning on dying with my toolbelt on frankly, unless I sell a few books. (I'm a writer but not a paid one yet.)

What I like about this forum is the quality of professionalism. When I first came to AZ I was working for one of the biggest contractors in Flagstaff, ( for a $7.50 cut in pay BTW) and ended up quitting and hitchhiking back to Flag because I finally got fed up with the BS. I am talking about Commercial job leads who didn't know that having a lamp in a fixture or a fan plugged in in a bath would read continuity-wise and interpreted it as a direct short. If you can't trouble shoot something like that, then you have no business running a crew. That's just ONE of the issues I saw - I asked for ground screws for two weeks - none of the neutrals were tied together in boats or numbered with the circuits - hell, the circuits weren't numbered! Imagine being asked to make up j-boxes 1/2 a mile down a hall, about 30th jbox in line, and having no idea what neutral went with what! :blink:

It was a frigging hotel, but all the rooms were made up differently, the home run pipes had 5, 6 or more 90's in them, and 2 rooms didn't even have home run pipes - and they were laying carpet when I got there. I won't go into what we did to get the CO, but it didn't make me feel good, and that's just what I saw.

I had the good fortune to work with a great commercial electrician who had unfortunately inherited the lead, but he was quitting the next day himself - I had enough. I have very little tolerance for horse****. Everyone makes mistakes, but apprentices should not be doing journeyman work. It's a good damn thing the lighting wasn't 277 - oh, have seen that too - on another job I saw an apprentice hooked up a fixture to 480v instead of 277v. If I'm going to have to fix crap like that, then I figure I should get paid for it. I'm damn good at troubleshooting, I can bend pipe well, and I have a good attitude. I don't screw over the guy coming behind me, I know how to label wires, and I take pride in my work.

Sorry for the rant, but it makes me wonder when a guy like me can't find work. I know the market sucks right now, but you would think the cream would rise to the top. Not all electricians are created equal. I know there are still things I can learn, (haven't used a hydraulic bender but a couple times for example) but no one has ever complained about me being lazy or the quality of my work. Anyway, I guess you guys know more about me now than you probably ever wanted to, but thanks for listening. I'm sure I can learn some things from this forum. The best electricians I've known learned their tricks because they listened. I'm a good listener.
 
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