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el abogado del diablo
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in todays society, what is the real point or goal of a union picketing a job? and are they ever successful?

this does not include prevailing wage proects where guys are paying prevailing wages....
 

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in todays society, what is the real point or goal of a union picketing a job? and are they ever successful?
Once upon a time most people supported the unions but weren't particularly aware of when a contract negotiation was not going well. The picketing was a way to get that union supporting public aware of the situation.

"In today's society", the basic support of unions isn't as strong as it once was. But the picketing serves the same purpose as before; making the general public aware of a situation that isn't going well.

Did you really need to have this explained?
 

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Not going well for those protesting the situation, logic would dictate.
 

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Not just the general public but also those making deliverys. Concrete, supply houses etc. Whare I work picket lines get respected well.
 

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beleive it or not, the fact there may be a picket may or may not have anything to do with a contract and the negotioations concerning that contract.

In our local (IBEW), we have "informational" pickets altough we are not allowed to strike EVER by verbiage in our contract. We picket in an attempt to draw attention to whatever message we are trying to publicize. It has nothing to do with the negotiations for our contract and has no relation in time to the negotiation of our contract.
 

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The local inspectors(local 3) picketed my job in december. It was a 1 day strike(on our site) and 250 tradesman honored it, we shut the job down. Our job was the 3rd or 4th site picketed in the city. I would say it was very successful. They struck a deal with the city the next day(they weren't fighting for money) This is a perfect example of a strike working as intended. doesn't always happen this way, but it shows what can be done when we as tradesman stand up for each other. My local has not been on strike in some 25 years.
 

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el abogado del diablo
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
beleive it or not, the fact there may be a picket may or may not have anything to do with a contract and the negotioations concerning that contract.

In our local (IBEW), we have "informational" pickets altough we are not allowed to strike EVER by verbiage in our contract. We picket in an attempt to draw attention to whatever message we are trying to publicize. It has nothing to do with the negotiations for our contract and has no relation in time to the negotiation of our contract.
let's say, for example, that a project is being done non-union...the guys on the site are getting pay comparable to union scale, benefits, etc (not an argument of equality, just differentiating from the site full of guys being paid minimum wage off the books)

and the union has an 'informational' picket...what are they really picketing? that the guy doing the job is content with his package, but they (the unions) aren't?

in today's society, where too many people can't even tell you who the secretary of state is, how much do you think they care that some guy is doing your job for $5/hr less?

what would be considered a successful 'informational' picket?
 

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el abogado del diablo
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
The local inspectors(local 3) picketed my job in december. It was a 1 day strike(on our site) and 250 tradesman honored it, we shut the job down. Our job was the 3rd or 4th site picketed in the city. I would say it was very successful. They struck a deal with the city the next day(they weren't fighting for money) This is a perfect example of a strike working as intended. doesn't always happen this way, but it shows what can be done when we as tradesman stand up for each other. My local has not been on strike in some 25 years.

can you elaborate? why would the inspectors picket your job? what were they picketing for?
 

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let's say, for example, that a project is being done non-union...the guys on the site are getting pay comparable to union scale, benefits, etc (not an argument of equality, just differentiating from the site full of guys being paid minimum wage off the books)
That's exactly what they're picketing, or what I would be picketing under those circumstances. Nonunion on the site, even IF they're being paid prevailing wages, is never equal.

and the union has an 'informational' picket...what are they really picketing? that the guy doing the job is content with his package, but they (the unions) aren't?
How do you know the guy doing the job is content with his package? Does he really have any other choice but to be content with what's offered? Further and even more on point, in these situations the nonunion employee making prevailing rate is often pressured to outperform even his best days. ("Since you making so much more while you're on this project") and the spoken or unspoken threat that at any time the boss desires, you could be yanked back down into another non-prevailing wage project, at your regular rate.

in today's society, where too many people can't even tell you who the secretary of state is, how much do you think they care that some guy is doing your job for $5/hr less?
So because of this cavalier attitude prevelant in today's society, you think union members should just give up? Stop protesting? Stop the informational pickets? Pack it in? Go away, it's not working anyway?

I think if that was the situation you wouldn't be here asking these questions.

what would be considered a successful 'informational' picket?
I don't think anyone could quantify that.
 

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=oldman;24125]let's say, for example, that a project is being done non-union...the guys on the site are getting pay comparable to union scale, benefits, etc (not an argument of equality, just differentiating from the site full of guys being paid minimum wage off the books)
I know of no non-union contractor that offers a package equal to the union package with the possible excpetion of a couple key men within that company.


and the union has an 'informational' picket...what are they really picketing? that the guy doing the job is content with his package, but they (the unions) aren't?
they are attempting to inform all that will listen that the workers behind the line are not being paid what the union deems to be a fair package.

in today's society, where too many people can't even tell you who the secretary of state is, how much do you think they care that some guy is doing your job for $5/hr less?
well, since the largest employer in the county requires that all construction on their campus be performed by union contractors, apparently somebody is listening.

what would be considered a successful 'informational' picket
we did not get run over.

actually, there is no "successful" or "unsuccessful" picket. We are there to give reason for thought. That is not something that can be quantified and judged as successful or not successful
 

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oldmanQuote:
Originally Posted by joeyuk
Not just the general public but also those making deliverys. Concrete, supply houses etc. Whare I work picket lines get respected well.

what reason(s) would you attribute that to?

North Jersey is a strong union area. I would go out on a limb and say almost all familys have a union member in some field. So the concept of solidarity is not unfamilar to them. People realize you can't stand alone. When like minded people stand togather you can accomplish more.
Another point not addressed yet is quality of work. I completed a 4 year apprenticeship which included on the job training. I met alot of good people and developed relationships with people I am still close with 22 years later. It is not enough you pay the worker a certain amount or offer him a better package for that job. Verifiable training and proper supervision is essential as well. I have continued my education thru the local as well.
Next while we are on the subject I have been out of work for just under 2 months now. I am now near the top of the list and have gone out on short calls since I signed the list. While out of work I voluntarilary was on an informational picket line. The line was at the old St. Francis hospital site in Jersey city which is being converted to condos. This line is organized by the plumbers. I and many others look at this as an opportunity to put our best foot forward. Our line is across the street of the site whare a park is. Realizing this is first contact with unions outside of family we have befriended the residents of the neighborhood. Teachers walk their daycare classes into the park each day and the teachers and children greet us very nicely. There is a dog run near whare we are at and the local residents stop and talk to us and wish us luck. I was shocked 1 afternoon when a unidentified resident gave a $100 dollar bill to the hot dog cart operator on the corner with the instructions " After I leave give those guys what they want till the money runs out."
I guess this shows that picket lines need not be confrontational and can be used to make progress on many fronts.
Joe
 

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el abogado del diablo
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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
joe, thats a positive....good luck....

i have quite a few friends in 164.....there is a HUGE difference between 164 and 400:D

but in some cases, the picket lines are still a form of extortion...and to deny that it occurs is to be completely intellectually dishonest...

the base assumption in al of this is that everyone wants to be union....the downside is that should a customer decide that they want to switch their project midstrean to a union project, the guys now workng become unemployed....they don't get organized...the union brings in existing out of work guys...

can you see where a nonunion worker might have some anymosity?
 

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joe, thats a positive....good luck....

i have quite a few friends in 164.....there is a HUGE difference between 164 and 400:D

but in some cases, the picket lines are still a form of extortion...and to deny that it occurs is to be completely intellectually dishonest...
If picket lines were a form of extortion, then there would be arrests and prosecutions.

Picket lines are a form of free speech. Freedom to protest. Freedom of assembly. It's a constitutional right.

the base assumption in al of this is that everyone wants to be union...
No more so than your base assumption is that every nonunion worker does not want to be union.

the downside is that should a customer decide that they want to switch their project midstrean to a union project, the guys now workng become unemployed....they don't get organized...the union brings in existing out of work guys...

can you see where a nonunion worker might have some anymosity?
I'm not too sure your heart bleeds for them.
 

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can you elaborate? why would the inspectors picket your job? what were they picketing for?
The inspectors picketed my job because it's one of the biggest josites in the county, they also picketed 3-4 other very large job sites. I'm not sure of the details, as I never asked specifically. It does not matter though, they felt the city was doing something they did not agree with, and in solidarity, we(tradesman) stood behind them and helped them out. When the trades stand together like that it creates a better working environment for all.
 

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joe, thats a positive....good luck....

i have quite a few friends in 164.....there is a HUGE difference between 164 and 400:D

but in some cases, the picket lines are still a form of extortion...and to deny that it occurs is to be completely intellectually dishonest...

the base assumption in al of this is that everyone wants to be union....the downside is that should a customer decide that they want to switch their project midstrean to a union project, the guys now workng become unemployed....they don't get organized...the union brings in existing out of work guys...

can you see where a nonunion worker might have some anymosity?
Local 164 aggressively organizes in good times and bad. This is not as popular with the membership as the leadership. My own view is that the union raises the standard and that when people in general lower the standard that is where anamosity is created.
 
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