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Thread: Anti-non-union Rhetoric

  1. #21
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    My experience with the elite union or die are the ones that have never worked non union. It seems those that have worked both can easily identify the pluses and minuses,and will engage in civil conversation to recruit. Not so much on the born and raised union mentality
    As others have said being one over the other has no premise of being a craftsman
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  2. #22
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    What wrong with doing Resi - as a Union Shop?

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  3. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by crazzycajun View Post
    My experience with the elite union or die are the ones that have never worked non union. It seems those that have worked both can easily identify the pluses and minuses,and will engage in civil conversation to recruit. Not so much on the born and raised union mentality
    As others have said being one over the other has no premise of being a craftsman
    Well i must be the exception. After trade school with a father and older brother both in the ua running service started at a non union shop for almost two years then factory service Singer company for 21 months that was when rtu's were first coming out. Zero training and had to buy my own tools except a vacuum pump ( 22 servicemen and not one vacuum. Purged everything. I have freed millions and millions freon 22 molecules)

  4. #24
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    I spent over 60 years in the work force. About 35 years union and 25 non-union. Hard line union is wrong and so is hard line non-union. The problem with both is holding things at neutral is unacceptable to both and no effort is made to do so. Each side tries to take advantage of the other when economic conditions favor them.
    It should be noted the unions got working hours down to an acceptable range and obtained benefits we all enjoy. The brotherhood of railway workers fought getting rid of the firemen on trains even though there was nothing for them to do. The unions fought non-ferrous piping even in applications where it was much better than the bell and spigot.
    Unions are not always easy to get into. Working at a non-union shop can often help you if you want to join the union. The union BA'S almost always know who the standout non-union guys are and love to sign them up.
    My point there is good and bad with both but on the overall both are good. Union apprentice programs in my opinion are great except for TAB and commissioning.
    Residential is a tough market for union companies. Sheet metal resi rates (hourly pay and benifits) are less than commercial to help them compete.
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  5. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by hvacker View Post
    People have protected their turf thru history. Some of the most famous were the Luddtites in England when workers put wrenches in the machine gears. Monkey Wrenchers. Unions aren't alone ut over the years their affect is much less.
    T&B is a specialty that won't appeal to many unless they just like instruments, math, being scientific. I went through T&B training in the mid 80's as I figured I could pick a few weeks of work I wouldn't normally get. One 4 hour night/week for 28 weeks. IT was also a huge help in troubleshooting systems. A bennie I didn't expect.
    Most guys that become sheet metal journeymen don't see themselves as a tech head so many have no interest in the tech side work. Even doing service work, it's hard to find those that might actually like it.

    Tensions between Union and non won't just go away. There is some truth that non-union people hurt the Unions because they work for less. Even when a contractor matches what's on the check they don't ever count the benefits of family health care, a pension, 401K, training, even a place to take a grievance.

    I believe a person that plans to work at a trade benefits from finding a way to join a Union. Health care alone is worth over 12 grand/year for a family. Plus almost zero residential.
    This is true, a non union shop here offered me 4 dollars or so more overscale, but when you factor in just the medical benefits alone, I woulda still came out with way less, from the weekly medical deductions, to the much higher co-pays with deductibles (than add the pension to that). Easy choice to stay in the union.

    Union hvac techs don't always mean better trained. Here, unions do not have to send techs they hire to union school and lots of contractors choose not to so they don't have to pay someone to a full days pay to go to school and chance them leaving them for another contractor after the completion of their training. That is there excuse for not sending them anyways. Besides, some companies like hacks working for them so they can hit the customer over the head a second time with another service call when the first tech failed to do it properly the first time.

    You will find hacks in the field that are in the union and you will find hacks in the field that are non-union.

  6. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by AdrianOmarPerez View Post
    What wrong with doing Resi - as a Union Shop?

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    Nothing inherently wrong. Do it if you like it. I just find resi work a lot more difficult if considering dealing with home owners.
    I have had a way of seeing resi work in what I call the Hooker Philosophy ( my apologies to working girls)
    It goes like this. A hooker can find a guy with a million dollars or she can find a million guys with a buck. Either way she made a million dollars only with the million guys, she worked a bunch harder.
    Resi work is like that. Bunches of small jobs where many are only one hour long, small parts mark up, running all over town. Sell a motor in commercial and you might make more than all the resi parts sold all week (unless the shop is FR)

    This might have been what interested many resi shops to go with flat rate pricing. While I think FR can be done fairly, it usually isn't.
    Give me a relay with big enough contacts, and I'll run the world!

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  7. #27
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    Gotta love the union and their family first policy.

  8. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by WAYNE3298 View Post
    I spent over 60 years in the work force. About 35 years union and 25 non-union. Hard line union is wrong and so is hard line non-union. The problem with both is holding things at neutral is unacceptable to both and no effort is made to do so. Each side tries to take advantage of the other when economic conditions favor them.
    It should be noted the unions got working hours down to an acceptable range and obtained benefits we all enjoy. The brotherhood of railway workers fought getting rid of the firemen on trains even though there was nothing for them to do. The unions fought non-ferrous piping even in applications where it was much better than the bell and spigot.
    Unions are not always easy to get into. Working at a non-union shop can often help you if you want to join the union. The union BA'S almost always know who the standout non-union guys are and love to sign them up.
    My point there is good and bad with both but on the overall both are good. Union apprentice programs in my opinion are great except for TAB and commissioning.
    Residential is a tough market for union companies. Sheet metal resi rates (hourly pay and benifits) are less than commercial to help them compete.

    Just a point about T&B. Contractors often break down profits on jobs. Some use divisions like labor, parts, equipment etc. With T&B a job is often labor only. Maybe some sheaves and belts if the specs included them.
    Making money on labor only isn't very attractive. Sure a T&B company charges more for labor than a Hvac contractor charges for a Journeyman sheet metal guy is understandable because of being a tech job. Still not enough to make what a mechanical contractor might make with the job. T&B are also not on the job very long by comparison.
    One T&B shop was concerned that training and certifying T&B might mean the tech might start their own T&B business. Once certified T&B is a rather inexpensive area to do a startup (except for the training requirement that is really $$$.

    A good tech can't be made from scratch. It's in their DNA. I have said before that I could go out every night and shoot hoops for years and never be any good at it. I might get better but never be really good because I'm not a great athlete. I also know I can't make a great tech out of an athlete because it's not their gift.
    Not so different in convincing a tradesman from re-training to T&B. I've seen contractors believing they could take any tradesman and send him to some training and fully expect them to be ably to do technical jobs.
    Like a woman once told me, "Neva hapen GI!

    Reasons a mechanical contractor might not want to get into T&B business.
    Can't find actual techs
    Not as profitable overall
    Training is $$$
    The work is scarce compared to contracts
    What jobs are there go fast not logging many hours
    Instrument maintenance is $$$
    Required rectification is $$
    The unreasonable requirements by certifying agencies. TABB, NEBB. I don't know about others.
    Probably more.
    Give me a relay with big enough contacts, and I'll run the world!

    You can be anything you want......As long as you don't suck at it.

    If a person wants to create a machine that will be more likely to fail...Make it complicated.

    USAF 98 Bomb Wing 1960-66 SMW Lu49

  9. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by AdrianOmarPerez View Post
    Exactly, cajun. Show me 10 stellar Service programs and I'll show you 50 or more that are far from stellar.
    I'm willing to make a big change, are you? If you knock another member for calling it like it truly is - are you part of the problem or are you going to be part of the solution?
    I'm not Construction, never have been and never will be.

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    You better look around how many 60 year old service people are still climbing ladders, hauling tools to the roof and working like theres no tomorrow.

  10. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by AdrianOmarPerez View Post
    Exactly, cajun. Show me 10 stellar Service programs and I'll show you 50 or more that are far from stellar.
    I'm willing to make a big change, are you? If you knock another member for calling it like it truly is - are you part of the problem or are you going to be part of the solution?
    I'm not Construction, never have been and never will be.

    Sent from my LG-M327 using Tapatalk
    You better look around how many 60 year old service people are still climbing ladders, hauling tools to the roof and working like theres no tomorrow.

  11. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by SVTCharlie View Post
    This is true, a non union shop here offered me 4 dollars or so more overscale, but when you factor in just the medical benefits alone, I woulda still came out with way less, from the weekly medical deductions, to the much higher co-pays with deductibles (than add the pension to that). Easy choice to stay in the union.

    Union hvac techs don't always mean better trained. Here, unions do not have to send techs they hire to union school and lots of contractors choose not to so they don't have to pay someone to a full days pay to go to school and chance them leaving them for another contractor after the completion of their training. That is there excuse for not sending them anyways. Besides, some companies like hacks working for them so they can hit the customer over the head a second time with another service call when the first tech failed to do it properly the first time.

    You will find hacks in the field that are in the union and you will find hacks in the field that are non-union.
    Scale is minimum wage there is nothing in our contract that ties the hands of a contractor not to pay your more. Every serviceman after being in the field a few years should at the least make foreman wages. Bids work, his own boss, fills out tickets and has to converse with the customers that are always so pleasant never pissed because their hot, knows it's going to cost them and wanting it fixed yesterday. Contractors that do not send there men to school get what they deserve a half ass service dept nobody knows it all and things are changing all the time. I don't expect to get payed after work for a class and i drive their truck. During the day i do get payed and going out of town my 40 hours plus all expenses.

  12. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by servicefitter View Post
    You better look around how many 60 year old service people are still climbing ladders, hauling tools to the roof and working like theres no tomorrow.
    Start with me on that list.
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  13. #33
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    I'll be second on the list!

  14. #34
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    service, don't think that I am shooting you down. Your Union experience and my Union experience proves the variance. Now if you are okay with that swing, that's on you. I am not alright with it.
    A Journeyman in this jurisdiction is not technically a Journeyman. This Local has split Jm - Commercial Service Tech Jm which is not a Jm that is a Serviceman. An Applied Service Tech Jm is a true Jm, but the Local allows for an AST to get paid less for Light Commercial work. So this is contrary to your opinion that a Jm should have no problem getting paid Fm wages.

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  15. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by AdrianOmarPerez View Post
    service, don't think that I am shooting you down. Your Union experience and my Union experience proves the variance. Now if you are okay with that swing, that's on you. I am not alright with it.
    A Journeyman in this jurisdiction is not technically a Journeyman. This Local has split Jm - Commercial Service Tech Jm which is not a Jm that is a Serviceman. An Applied Service Tech Jm is a true Jm, but the Local allows for an AST to get paid less for Light Commercial work. So this is contrary to your opinion that a Jm should have no problem getting paid Fm wages.

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    Some contractors don't think theres money in service work. My experience is when i was hired in 1974 there was two servicemen for start-up and warrantee work, we were a evil necessity. 45 years later 58 servicefitters 10 do nothing but ems, 4 plumbers, 10 wiremen and tinners 6 balancers,6 just for service. Not counting construction people.

  16. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by servicefitter View Post
    You better look around how many 60 year old service people are still climbing ladders, hauling tools to the roof and working like theres no tomorrow.
    I go where and with the yougin's go just to prove not to discount us dinosaurs they may come across. I've said before when it comes to getting the job done I still out work them about any day

  17. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by AdrianOmarPerez View Post
    service, don't think that I am shooting you down. Your Union experience and my Union experience proves the variance. Now if you are okay with that swing, that's on you. I am not alright with it.
    A Journeyman in this jurisdiction is not technically a Journeyman. This Local has split Jm - Commercial Service Tech Jm which is not a Jm that is a Serviceman. An Applied Service Tech Jm is a true Jm, but the Local allows for an AST to get paid less for Light Commercial work. So this is contrary to your opinion that a Jm should have no problem getting paid Fm wages.

    Sent from my LG-M327 using Tapatalk
    This split is fairly recent for the SMW. The fitters have had a split for a long time in the locals I'm familiar with. Fitters used to have an A card and B card where the B card made less money. Part of this was because the B card guys weren't actually fitters. Didn't go through the training and couldn't do fitter work. Often they were hired because contractors couldn't find people to do service.
    A shop I worked until the mid-80's, all were paid journeyman's scale. A shop I worked until the mid-90's paid some of us over scale. Myself it was $2 over.
    There are shops that see the tech side as just as valuable.
    A lot has changed since I worked for others. If the two are compared, the construction side and the tech side. the construction works harder physically and the tech side works harder mentally and has an emotional element to deal with. I don't think there should be any difference. I know the tech side can make money when managed well.
    BYW I have a problem using the word service to describe the job. For me a serviceman is someone in the military or works at a gas station. I prefer technician because the work demands it especially today. Like calling today's auto mechanic of today a grease monkey.
    If their were as many techs as JM's they would get paid the same. All locals are not created equal. Techs can be traded off in negotiations. What makes a JM. It's either the training or the experience. A tech often won't have training available. Often shops don't even ask.
    Give me a relay with big enough contacts, and I'll run the world!

    You can be anything you want......As long as you don't suck at it.

    If a person wants to create a machine that will be more likely to fail...Make it complicated.

    USAF 98 Bomb Wing 1960-66 SMW Lu49

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