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Whats up everyone. I just find this site and i have a ton of heavy questions. First of all, let me tell you a little bit about myself. I'm a really green rookie. In to weeks I'll be finishing IBT's (Institute for Business Technology) 9 month Electrical program and I have 4 months commercial non-union exp. I love the trade. My first question is. Whats Better union or non-union? Regardless of the economy what are the pro and con of both union and non-union work?
 

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Whats up everyone. I just find this site and i have a ton of heavy questions. First of all, let me tell you a little bit about myself. I'm a really green rookie. In to weeks I'll be finishing IBT's (Institute for Business Technology) 9 month Electrical program and I have 4 months commercial non-union exp. I love the trade. My first question is. Whats Better union or non-union? Regardless of the economy what are the pro and con of both union and non-union work?
Welcome Rookie.. oh you will get advice here...


So it is all what you make of it. Do your research. I would say it really depends on where you live and what kinda of work you want to do. San Jose is a nice area and the IBEW is well represented there. I dont know what the work out look is like out there but if its like most every where else its difficult at best. But do your research, and make a informed decision. I personally think the benefits, money and working conditions are better working union. But that is not completely true nationwide. There are areas of the country where non union electricians make more money. There are politics in any job be it union or non union. Good luck.


http://www.ibew.org/
 

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union vs non-union

Whats up everyone. I just find this site and i have a ton of heavy questions. First of all, let me tell you a little bit about myself. I'm a really green rookie. In to weeks I'll be finishing IBT's (Institute for Business Technology) 9 month Electrical program and I have 4 months commercial non-union exp. I love the trade. My first question is. Whats Better union or non-union? Regardless of the economy what are the pro and con of both union and non-union work?
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I worked for a non-union shop for 7 years without a single layoff period. I did'nt have to worry about paying dues or going on strike without pay during my stay at this place, and I was able to negotiate a monthly company-paid vehicle expense and company-paid family health/dental insurance. We were able to bid on projects with a slightly lower labor rate than the area union shops (probably because our overhead costs were a little lower) so we seemed to be more competitive in our bidding, which turned into alot of steady work for those 7 years. Unfortunately, the owner of the company became ill and abruptly closed the shop and liquidated all the material and equipment, and we all had to find other work. I think if it had been a union shop, we would all have been able to find another job fairly quickly.

The cons of being a union member would be the dues you pay each month to cover membership and benefits, which may or may not exceed deductions you would receive by working at a non-union shop that doesnt pay for health insurance, and also alot of electrical unions require you to attend their trade school, which could last 4 or 5 years, after which you could attain your journeyman license and command union journeyman wages. These wages typically come a little quicker in a non-union shop, where raises are usually based on merit and not on completion of a 5 year trade school.
 

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Welcome to the forum.

Being in San Jose your best bet for education is the IBEW. ABC's apprenticeship is not half of what the IBEW's is in your area.

Unfortunately there is not a lot of construction going on right now for either apprenticeship.

I'd recommend staying where you're currently working and apply to the JATC when they are agin accepting applications.

On the issue of dues. In our area (and all the locals in our area) the Union electrician easily makes $10.00 per hour more and his benefits far outweigh what the open shop pays.

Since the open shop bids competitively with the union, it is the open shop electricians paying dues in this area.
 

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Welcome to ET.

Union vs Non Union on an electrical forum is like going to congress and asking democrat or republican! It can be a "loaded" question as their are some with some extremely strong beliefs to one side or the other.
Some are aligned with one side but can maintain an open mind on the subject while others can not. Just visit the union topic area of the forum.

I spent 26 years in the field doing commercial work, all non union. I was able to position myself in some larger companies that paid as well ( some times better) then the IBEW.Insurance was available as was paid holidays and paid vacations. I never missed a days work due to being laid off or just no work. Insurance was never an issue with me as my wife has always had excellant coverage at an extremely low cost.

I never missed a days work due to lay offs or just NO Work. I spent 23 of those 26 years with 2 companies. One I was there for 8 years andI spent the next 15 with the other. I guess I am saying is that you can work non union and be as well as Union, I know others will say otherwise.

I know of others who are IBEW and have had great experiences as well as bad.
It will boil down to what YOU feel is in YOUR best interest.
 

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In the union you can come or go from one company to another depending on the job. Union companies can grow or shrink with the jobs. All your health care and retirements benefits go through the hall so changing companies is not a big deal if you get laid off. Think of big projects that need 200 electricians for 18 months then move on.

Employment in non union tends to be more stable, with smaller companies that do not grow or shrink. If you get laid of from one and start with another you are starting from square one with retirement and healthcare. Think of 40 hours at an office then next week a strip mall for a day then some residential to finish out the week and staying with the same employer for years.

Both have a valuable place and despite all the pissing, moaning and chest beating both types are needed to fill all the aspects of our trade.
 

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Whats up everyone. I just find this site and i have a ton of heavy questions. First of all, let me tell you a little bit about myself. I'm a really green rookie. In to weeks I'll be finishing IBT's (Institute for Business Technology) 9 month Electrical program and I have 4 months commercial non-union exp. I love the trade. My first question is. Whats Better union or non-union? Regardless of the economy what are the pro and con of both union and non-union work?
Did you have to pay out of pocket for IBT?
What do you have to show for the 9 month program?
Can you get your General Electrician or some other Certification with the course you took?
 

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He cannot take the state exam for General Electrician until he can prove 8,000 hours in the trade.

The 9 month program may help him get into an IBEW apprenticeship since it will show he is self-motivated, but it will not place him above anyone else in the IBEW or ABC.
 

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He cannot take the state exam for General Electrician until he can prove 8,000 hours in the trade.

The 9 month program may help him get into an IBEW apprenticeship since it will show he is self-motivated, but it will not place him above anyone else in the IBEW or ABC.
Being from Northern California, you may also want to look at WECA-IEC, website is www.weca-iec.org . It's about 20x better than ABC and is very comparable to the IBEW, as it almost mirrors the IBEW from what a friend of mine has told me who went through WECA and IBEW.
 

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Why did your friend go through WECA and IBEW apprenticeships?

Isn't WECA Rex (Wrecks) Moore, Nutter, and Barnum (Bailey) Celio?
 

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Why did your friend go through WECA and IBEW apprenticeships?

Isn't WECA Rex (Wrecks) Moore, Nutter, and Barnum (Bailey) Celio?
He got kicked out of WECA in his 5th year and went the IBEW route and we kept in contact. They made him go back to his 4th year.

Weca is Rex Moore(Flex Moore :D), Barnum and Celillo Electric, Butterfield, Royal Electric, Berg, Helix, and about 150-200 more smaller contractors ranging from 5-100employee's.

Nutter Electric founded there own apprenticeship.

Weca is a pretty darn good school to go through for your apprenticeship. Its highly comparable to the IBEW, its just a matter if you want to go non-union or union.

If you go union obviously your only route is IBEW, but if you go Non Union go WECA and steer clear of ABC, its an absolute joke.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Thank you for all your comments

IBT's training was good I Think. I got my state ET card from going to school there and the school even got me a non-union job while I was still in school. I just got laid off recently and have been have a hard time find work. I wasn't make nearly as much as the union boy where I was working or even as much as I should have been making, but the union not hiring. Plus I heard the waiting list for apprentices is 3 years. What do you mean by ABC? Are you taking about the school I when to? If so why do you think it's so bad i think it was great.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Really they're huge. how did you find out. I've been looking for work for weeks. Should i send them my resume for just go in person.
 

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They were requesting resumes on Craigslist. Check out their website for who to send the resume to. If they don't have any openings posted, send it in anyway.

Include a well thought out cover letter.
 
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