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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    california
    Posts
    223

    Go back to union??

    I have been on and off work from the sheet metal workers union for the last four years.. I finally pulled the plug and landed a job with a commercial service contractor. The pay is about 25% less with no health insurance , retirement or annuity . Etc.. I have the opportuinity to get back to the union on a job that will last at least a year but after that who knows..maybe laid off again?? I am learning a lot of new skills with the new job but i am thinking long term if i should go back union and get the pension credit.? I have about 11 years of service in the union now..

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Posts
    529
    Are you doing installs or service... both? Our commercial installers work like you said. Our residential install are pretty steady. I work on our service side and I am always busy. Our service guys do not leave it is like we work for the company. Is that an option in your area with a bigger company maybe? I hired on and joined the union. I did not go through the union apprenticeship. (use to catch a lot of stuff from a couple union drum beaters there) I like it. It's my second job and although I miss my previous employer... the pay and benefits were not there for a career.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Eugene, Oregon
    Posts
    1,018
    Stay with the Union. It'll pay off in the long run.
    "The bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of low price is forgotten". --Benjamin Franklin
    "Don't argue with an idiot, they will drag you down to their level and beat you with experience". --Mark Twain
    http://www.campbellmechanical.com

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    california
    Posts
    223
    The union job is mainly doing new construction doing ventilation and duct work at a hospital expansion. When that job is complete if there not another project going i would be laid off.. The non union job is primarily service and repair.. If i stick it out of few years and improve my knowledge in commercial service i can possibly get a job from a union contractor doing service??

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Near Chicago, IL
    Posts
    3,317
    Quote Originally Posted by jmiles View Post
    I have been on and off work from the sheet metal workers union for the last four years.. I finally pulled the plug and landed a job with a commercial service contractor. The pay is about 25% less with no health insurance , retirement or annuity . Etc.. I have the opportuinity to get back to the union on a job that will last at least a year but after that who knows..maybe laid off again?? I am learning a lot of new skills with the new job but i am thinking long term if i should go back union and get the pension credit.? I have about 11 years of service in the union now..
    If you took your union earnings over the last 4 years and readjusted it for full employment, what does it work out to? More or less than what you get now? You can't simply look at the 25% difference per hour.

    Does your local require anything special to "pull the plug"? Paperwork? Withdrawl card (and dues)?

    What happens when you take a job in what is called covered employment, but non-union?

    In my neck of the woods, the local union can refuse re-entry if you took a non-union job that falls under "covered employment". They can also refuse if there are other Journeymen or Journeywomen on the bench- even if you have a bona fide job offer. The decision is up to the Business Manager.

    The International can refuse your pension if you held a non-union job performing "covered duties". Let me tell you, that list is quite long. This is covered in the SMWIA International Constitution and Ritual, along with the withdrawl card disqualifications. They will find out because they search your W-2 forms when you retire.

    The text of the Constitution and Ritual is searchable online.

    I'd suggest exploring your options to return to the union before quitting that other job. You may not be able to return. Will you get a job guarantee in writing? Will union politics cause you to get laid off earlier (that guy was a scab and came back BS).

    Just before you do, spend a few minutes and remember how much help your union brothers gave you when you needed it.

    Of course, you do not know how long your current job will last.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    california
    Posts
    223
    I do not believe a local union has the ability to pull tax records. They are not the f.B.I. They may request them at the time you retire. That does not mean you must disclose them . Many presidents do not disclose their financial details . I find it funny how many are scared of the big bad B. A. They could care less just send in the dues and you got no worries in my local.. Which local are you out of Neophytes??

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
    Location
    Seattle, WA
    Posts
    7,798
    Shouldn't the question be which is best for you and your family financially now and in the long term?

    The one strike that will be against you eventually is the union will hold you accountable for caving in and going to work non-union. They have ways of finding out...actually, word eventyally get out. I know this first hand.

    Make the right decision for you and your family. And keep in mind most sectors are not going to get any better but worse. And the union membership is decreasing. Eveyones neck is on the line and it's going to be that way for a long, long time.
    "The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers it can bribe the public with the public's own money.
    - Alexis de Toqueville, 1835

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Near Chicago, IL
    Posts
    3,317
    Quote Originally Posted by jmiles View Post
    I do not believe a local union has the ability to pull tax records. They are not the f.B.I. They may request them at the time you retire. That does not mean you must disclose them . Many presidents do not disclose their financial details . I find it funny how many are scared of the big bad B. A. They could care less just send in the dues and you got no worries in my local.. Which local are you out of Neophytes??
    As I understand it, told by a couple of people that I know that have retired, somehow the union is able to look at previous employment. Permission to search (so to speak) is given by the retiree as part of the paperwork that is filled out. How this information is obtained, I don't know. There is a considerable amount of verbiage in the SMWIA Constitution and Ritual pertaining to working outside of the agreement and forfeiture of benefits, so either the language is there to scare you, or they can and will find out. Retirement benefits are expensive, and I bet that any union will do what they can to avoid payment.

    Like it or not, the "elected" union officials have the power to hurt you or help you. I know for a fact, in my local, that they can and do assign jobs to unemployed members in a manner that is not consistent with the very same "out of work" list that they maintain. People that speak up against the big bad BA often find themselves out of work, which must be a strange coincidence.

    As far as what local I am in goes, I know several people across more than one trade union that can't maintain employment due to union politics. No point in singling out just one union when they all seem to do the same things to their own members.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    up in the hizzy
    Posts
    1,392
    Wow, its taking you forever to grind the axe, must be a union job, get over it, stuff happens, move on.

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