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Are you or were you in a union?

  • I'm in a union

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  • I'm not in a union, but have been in one previously

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Discussion Starter #1
How many of you are or have been affiliated with a union? I never have been. My father and several other relatives were union members as automotive industry workers in Michigan.
 

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Never have been.As a 15 year plumber,that union is not a very good one.My Dad and brother were stout,proud union members.Dad was a charter member of Teamsters local 13.He always gave me the "you young punks dont know how good you got it" speech.
 

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My experince with 2 different unions left me with the same opinion, they promote lazyness and protect the weak employee! Good retirement plans at both places though!
 

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have been for the last 18 years, IBEW. Good union not allot of conflict. I don't work with allot of lazy "union" people, most everybody trys to get the job done. Have some lazy people but has nothing to do with being union. They have done a decent job protecting us from stupid management ideas ;D other than that just another job, but is nice to have someone watching your back.
 

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I am part of CWA and have been since 2001! I am mostly happy with it! The Union does sometimes protect folks that don't necessarily deserve it IMO! My thought is that it isn't as strong or as much needed as it once was, but still a lot of good. I am vary thankful for what the folks before me put on the line for my benefit! My monthly dues are only $33 a month. That's not to bad at all. I only pay $89 a month for full medical, dental and vision! Along with a decent pension, and 401K with employer match. The company I work for can only "force" us to work 8 hrs. OT a week! We can work more if we would like however! Vacation and personal/sick time is a great benefit as well. Lets not forget the pay. I will just say that we earn almost 2x what our non-union competitors make! Again, there are some issues that I just don't agree with, but over all I am happy! Sorry if that was too much info!
 

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I'm also a member of IBEW (Electricians). They are not perfect but overall they have been good to me. They took me in 25 years ago when I was too broke to go to college and gave me a free education, 5 years of apprenticeship evenings and Saturdays while they kept me working during the day. We make more than nonunion electricians and in return the customer gets a highly trained workforce that produces a high quality installation.
 

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Never been in a union. I'm one of those idiots that earn my income and success on my own merit.
 

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Always worked at professional jobs of the type that don't have any unions. My cousin was a long time IBEW member and my brother-in-law was a long time Teamster. Both of them liked and supported their unions.

I have a low opinion of the UAW and some of the local construction unions, I feel that they encourage laziness and low productivity. But that's just an opinion.

Not sure what to think of some of the teachers' unions, but I have the impression that they tend to promote their own agendas over the good of the students sometimes.
 

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I'm just curious on what protection union members need that people in the private sector get by the laws that were passed in this country.
 

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Was a member of the "Retail Clerks Local 7" for about 35+ years. Went through periods of great leadership as well as crappy leadership, but I always believed they were there for the betterment of all thier members.
I now have a "non-union" position in the same company with which I had my union membership. My obsevations as such is that they treat most of these non union employees with about the ideals as they did with all the unionized membership. EXCEPT in the pay scales and benefit side of the equations. Why, I ask myself, is that? I, myself, have not had a wage increase for the last 3 1/2 years, yet my company made $98 MILLION in NET profit last year. (2010) THAT'S NET PROFIT! Where did it all go? ? ?
Having said this, I still strongly support most all of the Unions stands against BIG BUSINESS. BUT, I also realize they need to work together for EACH OTHER when the times get tough. (i.e; The Wiscinsin teachers situation)
Its too bad there has been such apathy against Unions and what they bring to the table. People say they promote laziness and discord against the companies they deal with. BULL----.
The Union is only as strong as the members in it. The Union leadership is only as strong as the membership will allow it to be. Sure, you pay dues to some of these union leaders and ask yourself, "why do I pay, when they do nothing for me?"
Well, my monthly dues went not only to pay the salaries of the union leadership, but also to fund part of my medical and retirement packages as well.
And I'm sick and tired of hearing about how these UNIONS and thier memberships have supposedly destroyed so many of our top corporations over the last few years. Union membership is at its lowest number in this country at any time since the early 40's.
Could this be a direct reflection of why our standard of living has continued to decline over the past 20+years? Or is it just a whole-hearted blessing for all the Corporate "PIGS" to get richer and wealthier at the workers expense? AND worse yet, to outsource these jobs for the sake of making BIGGER profits for themselves at the expense of our workers? It used to be that profits were re-invested in the companies that actually made them. Not any more.....
One more point, LAZY workers are only promoted by the LAZIER workers who surround them. You lead by example, I usually got better performance from my people by MY example. AND remember, The company ALWAYS has the means (and the finances) to rid itself of these underachievers. If they choose do so.
Enough of my rants, my fingers are tired.....
 

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Do you believe that the unions should spend millions on political ads, and then beg the govt for more money, or fire workers because they can't afford their pensions?
 

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I was in local #11 roofers and water proofers in chicago! My dues whent torwards fair work place practices, Protection against non willfull employees that can fire you or miss treat you at any moment, Skilled trained employees with further and continuing education programs and apprenticeship programs! Insurence! Bennefits and pensions.
Now that I moved here I am currently making $3 less than half, work with almost entirley mexicans that entered here illegally that have green cards or fake id's, They get to work more then me and are treated far more better! The company I work for does primarily all the work for almost every school district in the Denver and surrounding areas including Boulder. You tell me whats wrong with this picture!
 

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The Situation said:
Do you believe that the unions should spend millions on political ads, and then beg the govt for more money, or fire workers because they can't afford their pensions?
Don't understand your question past the "spend millions on political ads" part.....

Why should they not be allowed to spend for thier interests? EVERYONE else does, and its usually on the sneak.
 

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I worked in a union shop as a summer job on college. They forced me to join the union and pay dues starting on my first day there. The kicker is that I didn't qualify for any union benefits for 90 days, just in time for me to leave the job and go back to college. Sure, it was part of the deal, and I paid my dues, but that doesn't make it fair.

I hesitated responding to your rant (which is a good one) because you've been in a union for a very long time. Others I've talked to about this who have been in a union for a long time like you have don't see the other side. But there are some points here I wanted to make. And for the record, I'm not attacking you personally, I just have a different point of view.
IFSHDOU2? said:
Was a member of the "Retail Clerks Local 7" for about 35+ years. Went through periods of great leadership as well as crappy leadership, but I always believed they were there for the betterment of all thier members.
I now have a "non-union" position in the same company with which I had my union membership. My obsevations as such is that they treat most of these non union employees with about the ideals as they did with all the unionized membership. EXCEPT in the pay scales and benefit side of the equations. Why, I ask myself, is that? I, myself, have not had a wage increase for the last 3 1/2 years, yet my company made $98 MILLION in NET profit last year. (2010) THAT'S NET PROFIT! Where did it all go? ? ?
I guess my first question is how does your current pay compare to others doing your same job in your industry. Were your wages inflated while you were on the union side of the shop?

Profits went to the people who own the company, and assume all the risk related to that company. Why should you be entitled to more than a fair wage and benefits? Why does being in a union entitle you to more profit than someone who isn't?

And I'm sick and tired of hearing about how these UNIONS and thier memberships have supposedly destroyed so many of our top corporations over the last few years. Union membership is at its lowest number in this country at any time since the early 40's.
True, a lower percentage of workers are in unions now than ever before. But if you look at the industries that are dominated by unions, you can see why they're detrimental. Look at the UAW. That union has all but destroyed Detroit. American car companies who are all union shops are manufacturing more and more of their products overseas. Why? Because it's a LOT cheaper and a lot easier to do so without having to deal with trying to bust such a huge union. Same goes for the retail clerks union, right? Unions push for higher salaries (and take their share in dues) and benefits that are above and beyond what is normally competitive in that industry. The higher cost relates to that gets passed to the consumer.

Could this be a direct reflection of why our standard of living has continued to decline over the past 20+years? Or is it just a whole-hearted blessing for all the Corporate "PIGS" to get richer and wealthier at the workers expense? AND worse yet, to outsource these jobs for the sake of making BIGGER profits for themselves at the expense of our workers? It used to be that profits were re-invested in the companies that actually made them. Not any more.....
Actually, our standard of living has gone up over the last 20+ years. We're living longer, living more comfortably, and we have more disposal income, on average. 20 years ago, we weren't out spending our money on $4 cups of coffee or wasting it on other things like we are right now. A ticket to a bronco game didn't cost $200 back then, but we can still afford to go (on occasion).

As for profits, why not try to maximize them? Isn't that the name of the game? You mention that employers used to reinvest in the company and treat their employers better. Well, now if they show a bigger profit margin, and they're union shop, the union will use it as leverage for getting more money. So where's the motivation? Also, if you're trying to run a business, why would you invest domestically when it's so much less expensive to put out a quality product overseas, for a variety of reasons?

One more point, LAZY workers are only promoted by the LAZIER workers who surround them. You lead by example, I usually got better performance from my people by MY example. AND remember, The company ALWAYS has the means (and the finances) to rid itself of these underachievers. If they choose do so.
Enough of my rants, my fingers are tired.....
In the union shop I worked in, workers who had been there more than a year were all lazy. I was told more than once to slow down. And firing someone was near impossible. True story... A worker was brazing near a friend of mine. He actually drug the torch across my buddy's hand, burning him badly. Because the worker had been there for a long time (supervisor's words), it just wasn't worth disciplining him for one mistake. The guy had a substance abuse problem, but they wouldn't even drug test him after the incident. Now if they didn't feel like they could fire a guy for that, they definitely wouldn't fire someone for being lazy.

I will say this though. I've read the best pro-union argument I've come across in a long time right here in this topic. "Benson" has a great point.

Thanks for reading,
Eli
 

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IFSHDOU2? said:
The Situation said:
Do you believe that the unions should spend millions on political ads, and then beg the govt for more money, or fire workers because they can't afford their pensions?
Don't understand your question past the "spend millions on political ads" part.....

Why should they not be allowed to spend for thier interests? EVERYONE else does, and its usually on the sneak.
Are you seriously asking me why they shouldn't be allowed to spend tax dollars on political ads? And it isn't "Their" interests, it in the interests of the BIG BUSINESS that you guys hates so much, but with a different name. Union.
 

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don't give a darn about private unions. Public unions have no place.

Public unions use dues to give more money to politicians to give them more benefits and money so they can give more money to politicians to give them more benefits and money so they can give more money to politicians to give them more benefits and money so they can give more money to politicians to give them more benefits and money so they can give more money to politicians to give them more benefits and money so they can give more money to politicians to give them more benefits and money so they can.

f^^ that noise and to hell with those people.
 

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Chris said:
My experince with 2 different unions left me with the same opinion, they promote lazyness and protect the weak employee! Good retirement plans at both places though!
My experience as well...why I left the union! We need a union to ensure fair wages not ridiculous wages and benefits and certainly protecting all the pathetic employees who do NOT want to work!
 
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