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. 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.