Tell Us Your Union Experiences

Discussion in 'Politics' started by mudwhistle, Feb 26, 2011.

  1. mudwhistle
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    mudwhistle Diamond Member

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    When I retired from the military I started working for a air-conditioning equipment plant in TN. I joined the union shortly after getting the job. I noticed several things in the 8 years I worked there.

    We had two union Presidents while I was there. The first contract re-negotiation took place the first year I worked there. At the time the company had hired alot of new employees and the people that had been there for years wanted some time off and wanted to go on strike. Well us new employees wanted to work, so the strike vote failed.

    Four years later our contract was up for a vote again. This time the company did some strange things. One thing I noticed is they took every chair out of the plant. Even the run-testers had to stand up 8 hours a day. In order to do that job you ether had to sit or work on your knees. The company took every chair and put it out in the back 40. When it came time vote the union Prez recommended a strike. The employees voted to strike, and the strike lasted for about a month.

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    After the strike ended we found out that the company didn't want to go through with their agreements because new management had been hired to run the place. When we went out on strike every concession or benefit that had taken 3 years to negotiate was completely wiped off the table. We later found out everything we had lost. Around the time the strike ended one of my friends that worked on the line said his wife worked at the bank the union Prez banked at, and she said he cashed a very large check that week.

    Here at Ft Campbell the union President works out of my shop. I call it work loosely because in the 4 years I've worked there he's never done a day of work. All he does is go to the union headquarters and smoke. Drink coffee. Shoot the shit. Even though no building on post is a smoking area, the union leaders still smoke.

    In almost every case the union Steward, union Representative, or the President was lazy as hell. They never worked like the rest of us. They got the job and it gave them an excuse to screw off. I've never needed a union-rep to sit in on a meeting because I did my job and wasn't a trouble-maker. Only the lay-abouts need union representation just to keep their jobs because of calling in sick too much, insubordination, or not doing their job in a satisfactory manner.

    This has been my experience with unions. I was wondering about other's experiences.
     
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2011
  2. Agit8r
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    Agit8r Gold Member

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    In 2002 i briefly worked a second job at an in-flight-meal contractor (where I met the perverted TSA agents that tagged the meals before they went out to the tarmac). i made minimum wage minus union dues. That was my only experience
     
  3. xsited1
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    xsited1 Agent P

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    My grandfather worked for the Arkansas Gazette newspaper for 45 years. (You read that right. 4-1/2 decades at the same company.) He paid his union dues diligently and was supposed to receive a pension. Guess how much he got. Zero.

    True story.
     
  4. mudwhistle
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    mudwhistle Diamond Member

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    My retirement is also gone. The company ate it.

    Government workers have it so good. They don't even need unions. But in the private sector the union can be a good thing. Problem is the lazy fucks that represented us oft times never did their job.
     
  5. mudwhistle
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    mudwhistle Diamond Member

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    I remember applying for a job once at a union shop.

    They talked to me, had me fill out some forms, then informed me that I needed to be a union member to work there. I said where do I sign up. They said you can't. I said why not. They said I had to work there to join. I said then hire me. They said they can't. I said why not. They said because I'm not a union member. I pissed on their front door when I left.

    :finger3:
     
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  6. Anachronism
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    Anachronism BANNED

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    I AM a Union steward, and trust me I do as much work as anyone else in my department. I also get to deal with all the headaches of trying to make sure that people on both sides follow the rules. For this I get to pay $17.43 a week in dues, just like everyone else in the Union.

    My experiences in the two and a half years I've been a Union Employee..... (I worked for this company previously as a non-union employee in the same capacity before the department was Unionized in Dec. of 2008)

    Lowered my medical costs from 33% to 20%
    Guaranteed me a 2.5-3% raise every year (it's changed due to a contract extension)
    Guaranteed me that my job wasn't being moved from Massachusetts to Syracuse, NY
    Guaranteed me reasonable OT compensation for Storm work at my regular office and out of town
    Guaranteed my job as now a full 20% of the non-union workforce is being laid off
    Guaranteed me the right to sit at the table and grieve/negotiate issues in the workplace

    So far as I'm concerned it's the best thing that has happened to me in the 10 years I've been with this company.
     
  7. HUGGY
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    HUGGY I Post Because I Care Supporting Member

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    Upon graduating HS in 1967 I was hired by the US Postal Service as a letter carrier in January 1968. After a year I was nominated and elected the union rep at the Queen Anne Station in Seattle.

    When you see a mailman in short sleeves, short pants and comfortable shoes in the summer you can thank me. When I was hired a mailman had to wear long sleeves, a tie, a military style cap and polished black shoes with flat no tread soles.

    I worked very hard to prove to the Seattle regional office the benefits of more comfortable clothing and all surface footwear. My demonstration was carried out with Nike style cross country trainers with knobby rubber soles. I proved to two different route inspectors that carrying the mail was faster and safer with more comfortable high traction footwear. I got them to drop the military style clothing in favor of safety and efficiency.

    I was the union rep for almost three years. I never proposed higher wages or benefits. We already had a very good deal. None of the letter carriers I worked with ever complained about my efforts except a few of the old timers that liked the military styles. They were also the carriers that never had to deliver mail to residences going up and down steps. The administration fought hard to reject the proposals I eventually made a reality.

    I know the work I did as a union rep has saved the country millions in increased efficiency and spared countless letter carriers injury due to dangerous footwear. I am proud that over the last 40 years my job as union rep still matters.

    Oh...and I never got a dime for my union work.
     
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2011
  8. shintao
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    shintao Take Down ~ Tap Out

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    I joined the Union in 1964, and couldn't have found a better occupation. High risk & high pay for working high on steel. I helped build a lot of energy plants, ships, refineries, and storage tanks. Part of my dues paid for my retirement, medical, dental, legal fees, and other small items. The big paychecks & lots of hours carefully invested insured my retirement. I took off two years for US military, and returned to the Union where I worked until 1990. They credited me the two years.

    I never lost a days work because I paid for a dispatcher who had our jobs lined up for us. I was never intimidated by the boss, and the majority of the time the boss was also a Union member, or I was the Union member boss. If you did your job no one hassled you, and I was never hassled by the employer, boss or pusher man. Everybody I worked with were work oriented people, and were usually never the same people from job to job.

    I have no complaints with the Unions and I have worked close with a lot of various other Unions and their members. We come to do a job as safe as we can, as best we can, and in the shortest amount of time we can. Some employers gave us bonuses above our high wages for finishing jobs early, and had the uttermost respect for us. Many of the employers were made up of ex-Union men, so that made a difference.
     
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2011
  9. mudwhistle
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    mudwhistle Diamond Member

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    Pat yourself on the back. You're an exception.

    Course no steward is going to say he fucks off. Neither is that President I mention in one of my posts.
     
  10. syrenn
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    syrenn BANNED

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    My husband and 10 union things in the parking lot...guess how that went?

    Pay the dues or ELSE. The did not care if he joined the union or not. So long as the dues were paid they didnt give a SHIT.

    Fuck the unions.
     

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