I do apologize for the length of this post in advance.
Six or eight months ago my boss came to me and said. “I am closing my union construction operation. I am going to transfer the work to my new non-union company. You need to quit the union, or not have a job”. I chose the latter. Since he was the only union contractor left doing market work. I became a market man, without a market.
The way this all transpired, it appears that it was driven by a major market chains anti-union attitude. This troubled me because I respected this chains management philosophy and style tremendously. The funny thing is I still do, even after what it cost me. Even though they appear to be anti-union, I must say, they do market’s better than anyone I have ever seen.
This is the way it went down. About 6 months before I was screwed, my boss opened a non-union company on the other side of the state. This market chain gave him 70 stores, under service contract, to open this company with. This was his only customer at the new location.
The previous contractor, who had been recently bought by Hussman (a union company) they were booted.
When he opened this new company, our Construction Coordinator went to become G.M. of this operation. I was then offered and accepted the Construction Coordinator position with the existing union company.
I did the bidding, scheduling, and supervision, of all remodel, and new store installation. During this period, all our install work for this chain, started to slowly wind down. So I was seeking work with another even larger, though less well managed chain. When we began to get offers of work from this other chain, my boss made me turn it down.
I could not understand why the boss would not let me accept this work. When I asked him, he told me our service department could not handle the extra load. Then came the previously mentioned day, now I understood everything.
Many people were given the same option I was. I stood alone everyone else gave in. He promised them the world, and they believed him. I new better, if you will screw me now, you will screw me even more later. He did, many of them left after getting his non-union shaft. They are now working non-union elsewhere. Regretting having burned their union bridges.
I now work for one of the largest A/C and Refrigeration companies in the country. They like, and respect, my knowledge and work ethic. I feel lucky and blessed to have landed with such an excellent company. They have been union for over 70 years. They are working with the union. To try and solve the problems that made union, a dirty word.
I have much knowledge, and I work very hard. I deserve good health care, financial security, and retirement. If supermarkets want to be cheap, they don’t deserve me.
I do believe the markets are smart enough to see the light, sooner or later. Good Market guys will always make good paycheck money. The benefits are going in the crapper though.
I am now and always will be a market man. The knowledge gained in markets made my transition to AC&R easy.
I must admit I still long for Market work. The way an addict longs for drugs, a dog for a bone, or a man for a women (maybe not that one).
The moral of the story, learn your markets well. They will prepare you for everything else.