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  1. #1

    Union VS Non-Union?

    I'm sorry if this topic is redundant, but i still haven't come to a conclusion on which side of the fence would be better..

    A couple questions i have.

    - Do you feel the long drives to work in a union job are worth it? Me, i like to play video games when good ones come out + i like to have a life after work period. How much time do you usually have after work, before you go to bed?

    - I've heard conflicting story's about who makes more money.. I guess, you make commission and something else as a non union tech + you get vacation time, i believe.

    - Last question, i got a DWAI when i was 17 for driving and while under the influence of marijuana. I'm not sure if this was sealed or not. I don't think it was, but, would this prohibit me from getting either job?

    Thank you very much, .

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    new england
    Posts
    587
    If your worried about playing video games after work I don't think union or not really matters. Long rides to work? What's a long ride. I gladly drive my company van a hour or so each way. A DUI on your record will definately hurt if it's been less than 5 years.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Posts
    280
    Union V. Non Union, Round 307 DING DING DING.

    1) Youre going to have to deal with travel times with almost any shop, as well as overtime that will surely cut into any plans you make during the busy season.

    2) Overall, Union makes more but it all depends on the contractor, the part of the field you're in (IE residential v. commercial v. refrigeration).

    3) How long ago was that? If it was 5-6 years ago and you have not screwed up since it shouldn't matter, but again that all depends on who interviews you.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Posts
    1,033
    Each has it pros and cons.

    I was non-union for 8 years as I cut my eye teeth in this business. Five years at one company and three at the other. Other than the experience I gained I have nothing to show for either. If I had been union at the time I would have pension credits for those eight years.

    I joined the union in 1980. I have a pension which the employers funded. I have had full medical coverage during my working and non-working (retired) years. I always made an above average wage. One of the advantages I see in being union is the pension. Now some locals are better than others. I happen to be in a decent one. Many non-union companies offer 401K solutions for the future, but usually the individual has to fund it 100%. Some companies will match to a certain percentage, but I think that is more the exception than the rule.

    The other thing I like about being union is that your pension doesn't get compromised if you work for different companies. I worked for three different companies during my 27 active years in the union. Never missed a beat on pension because no matter the company they each contributed to my pension fund. So what I'm saying is you don't lose your pension because you were only with a company for a year or two. As long as you get vested (generally five years) in the pension plan then you have that for life.

    I also believe the training and continued education is above average. I didn't apprentice in the union (I was grandfathered in as a journeyman), but I did go to journeyman classes for years.

  5. #5
    The other thing I like about being union is that your pension doesn't get compromised if you work for different companies. I worked for three different companies during my 27 active years in the union. Never missed a beat on pension because no matter the company they each contributed to my pension fund. So what I'm saying is you don't lose your pension because you were only with a company for a year or two. As long as you get vested (generally five years) in the pension plan then you have that for life.

    Thanks, you all were very insightful.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Saint Petersburg, FL
    Posts
    139
    Quote Originally Posted by ThePipeMan View Post
    I'm sorry if this topic is redundant, but i still haven't come to a conclusion on which side of the fence would be better..

    A couple questions i have.

    - Do you feel the long drives to work in a union job are worth it? Me, i like to play video games when good ones come out + i like to have a life after work period. How much time do you usually have after work, before you go to bed?

    - I've heard conflicting story's about who makes more money.. I guess, you make commission and something else as a non union tech + you get vacation time, i believe.

    - Last question, i got a DWAI when i was 17 for driving and while under the influence of marijuana. I'm not sure if this was sealed or not. I don't think it was, but, would this prohibit me from getting either job?

    Thank you very much, .
    I honestly believe you'll work late some days union or non-union. Even if you go non-union, at one time or another they are going to ask you to work overtime when they are busy or someone needs air.

    I wouldn't narrow my decision down to which one will let me play video games longer, but that's just my opinion.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    In a boiler room
    Posts
    6,914
    A lot of companies do a background check so that may disqualify you depending on what kind of work it is. I don't think it will really make a difference whether it is union or not.

    What do you consider a long drive?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2000
    Location
    Stafford, Va. USA
    Posts
    212
    Knew York could not have presented the union side better.

    I'm in the local in the Washington, DC area, and I went through the same way as Knew York. The journeyman classes are excellent.

    The pension is also a very important aspect that should not be overlooked, as Knew York said, all of the employers contribute to the same pension fund for that local.

    Allen
    UA Local 602
    A man who says that he can't learn anything in a class is exactly right.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Buffalo NY
    Posts
    3,008
    I can give you the other side of the union story. I was in the union for 10 years doing 5 of them as an apprentice. The training is good but most of my education was in the field. The workload was good for my first year or so then after that the layoffs began. Off a few months then back to work. Then off four months and so on. Then I received my journeyman's card and full rate. Off for 6 months and out of unemployment. My union actually told me to get a job working non-union since it was so slow and so many guys were off. So I did and I was making a higher rate then my union scale. Did not have to pay dues and did not have dues taken out of my check. My first check was $400 more in take home pay for 2 weeks. So that got me thinking what to do when the hall calls me back to work? They didn't call for almost a year! Now I am settled into this new company with great bennies and constant work. I thought what good is a pension if I am not working to put any money into it. My new company is matching my 401k up to 5% and I have full family health coverage,new truck and tools and no headaches. So I took a withdrawal from the union and have not looked back. I am still in touch with a lot of the guys I use to work with and they are still ridding the bench a lot waiting for work. I can not live on $350 a week in unemployment. I have no bad feelings towards the union, they just can't provide me with full time employment. One guy I know calls it the "best part time job around"


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  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Posts
    1,033
    I guess if one has to depend on the union hall to put them to work then there could be a problem. I began my union career working for a manufacturer. I landed that job on my own and was grandfathered in as a journeyman. I have never sat on the bench and quite frankly only have been in the union hall for elections. I retired once and came back to work. Never once had to call the business agent or sit on the bench to find a job.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Columbus Ohio
    Posts
    1,977
    17yrs ago when I started in this trade I had a old timer tell me, "All those fancy tools, that hot rod service truck, the extra $2/hr, and those great benefits can be taken away from you in the blink of an eye... The one thing a company can NEVER take away is your education and training"

    Now growing old in this trade myself I cannot stress to you how true that is. If you get the best education and training available all the rest will follow suite.

    I wouldn't worry about your drive home to play video games, or who makes more money, I would worry about how you plan on learning this trade to carry you through the next 50yrs of your career.

    UA LU189

    10mm, because it's better than .45acp

  12. #12
    I'm just trying to weigh out my options. I'm looking for a great career, but still want my freedom, you know. It's hard to find anything that pays a decent amount without having a college education. I'm not really the type to go to school. I ****ed off my entire school career until about 10th and 11th grade, when history ****ed with my mind. I tried college and it just seems like to much work to catch up to where all the rest of the kids are, that actually took school seriously.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Columbus Ohio
    Posts
    1,977
    Quote Originally Posted by ThePipeMan View Post
    I'm just trying to weigh out my options. I'm looking for a great career, but still want my freedom, you know. It's hard to find anything that pays a decent amount without having a college education. I'm not really the type to go to school. I ****ed off my entire school career until about 10th and 11th grade, when history ****ed with my mind. I tried college and it just seems like to much work to catch up to where all the rest of the kids are, that actually took school seriously.
    Guess what bud, you aren't going to get a free ride in life. If you work hard and go to school you will advance.

    You don't wind up with a beautiful red headed wife, $40k SUV in the driveway, steaks on the table, and a nice farm house in the country on some land by sitting around playing video games and "wanting your freedom".

    Sounds like it's time to kick your ass out of neutral and do something with yourself.
    UA LU189

    10mm, because it's better than .45acp

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